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‘We used our Nigerian languages to confuse opponents’

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The 1994 class of Super Eagles have been acknowledged as one of the greatest teams to come out of Africa. PHOTO: AFP.


‘Okocha, Etim Esin are great footballers’ 

Former Super Eagles star, Daniel Amokachi has revealed that one of the secrets of the 1994 set of the national team was the ability of the players to communicate in the various Nigerian languages during matches.

He said the players confused their opponents with their ability to communicate in Nigeria’s indigenous languages, saying it kept their opponents in the dark when they needed to execute a plan. 

While acknowledging the players’ skills, Amokachi said cooperation and the determination to win every game made them one of the best national teams in the world.

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“While the Super Eagles class of 1994 were creative on the pitch, the players’ ability to communicate in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba on the pitch when playing against European teams was also a great weapon.

“When playing against English speaking countries, we also had our own means of communication.

“Some of the players in the team also understood foreign languages, which also helped us on the pitch.

“It was fun and interesting at that time. These present Super Eagles have to also carve out their own style. They need everybody’s support to succeed.

“From my own standpoint, the exclusion of home-based players from the national team is not right. If they were not invited, it would affect the Nigerian league because the players would not aspire for anything else except how to leave the Nigerian league.

“If the coaches invite the domestic players and keep them on the bench, it still shows they have something to offer. Total neglect is not right,” he said.

Looking at the number of quality stars that have moved from the local league to the Super Eagles, Amokachi said Austin Okocha, who played for Enugu Rangers, and Etim Esin of Calabar Rovers, were two of the greatest stars that have ever donned the national colours, adding that more of such players would still emerge from the local league if given the opportunity.

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