Brazil friendly will help Eagles find ‘new Mikel, Ighalo’
Former Super Eagles coach Clemens Westerhof is delighted at the prospect of seeing Nigeria confront world football Superpowers, Brazil, in a top-grade international friendly, saying it is a good rebuilding process for the Gernot Rohr’s team after their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign, Completesports.com reports.
Speaking from his country home in the Netherlands, Westerhof said the game against the Selecao in Singapore on October 13 is such that could help the three-time African champions ‘find capable replacements’ for striker Odion Ighalo and captain Mikel Obi, who announced their retirement from international football after the AFCON 2019.
“The Super Eagles to play against Brazil? That is very good,” Westerhof said during the phone chat.
“After the Africa Cup of Nations [in Egypt], playing against Brazil is good for the Super Eagles.
“Yes, it is important you play top teams when you are starting up again [rebuilding] after the Africa Cup of Nations.
“When you play top teams, like Brazil, the Super Eagles will know the balance of the team, how they react after the African Cup.
“Oh, yes, they played against Ukraine, which is good. Now against Brazil, you get a tougher test, the manager knows how the Super Eagles play without Ighalo, without Mikel, and how you look for their replacements.
“When you build a new team, you look at some new players, how they fit into your team, the balance they bring and how. Yes, if they can take the positions of those who left or you want to drop.
“Brazil is a top team, they can give Super Eagles a tough game. And who wins? I don’t know, but I want ‘my Super Eagles’ to win,” Westerhof said.
The ‘Dutch-Gerian’ arrived Nigeria in 1989, led the Super Eagles to a silver medal feat at Algiers 1990 Africa Cup of Nations, bronze at the Senegal 1992 AFCON and gold medal at Tunisia 1994.
He crowned his five-year reign as Super Eagles coach with a World Cup finals qualification in 1994 in the USA where, as debutants, Nigeria reached the second round where they lost 2-1 to Italy.