In 1985, Nigeria was already known as a Goldmine, where Scouts and Agents from across the world come to discover some of the best young pearls with exceptional football talents. But this year 2015, the country’s age-grade national teams: Flying Eagles, Golden Eaglets, and Dream Team, as they are called, so dominated Africa and the rest of the world. It goes to re-affirm their position as the world’s largest deposit of young football talents.
Let’ take a look at the diary of Nigeria’s successful outings and the individual awards some of the players received this year.
1. In March 2015, Flying Eagles (Nigeria U20 national team) won CAF African Youth Championship in Dakar Senegal.
2. Musa Mohammed scored 4 goals from the penalty spot to emerge the first defender ever to have won the highest goal scorer in African Youth Championship (AYC) – Golden Boot Award Winner.
3. Taiwo Awoniyi scored 2 goals, but emerged ‘Man of the Match’ in three out of the five matches Nigeria played at the AYC.
4. In June 2015, Flying Eagles was knocked out of FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand, but not after the team showed so much dominance, winning all its games and ranked favorite in the tournament, before the ill-fated Quarter finals loss to Germany 0 -1.
5. In October 2015, Golden Eaglets (Nigeria U17 national team) won FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile, being the defending champions from the previous edition held in United Arab Emirate.
6. Victor Osimhen, Nigeria’s young prolific striker scored 10 goals to set a new record as the all time Highest Goal Scorer at FIFA U17 World Cup – Golden Boot Award Winner.
7. Kelechi Nwakali, Nigeria’s young playmaker emerged the most valuable player at FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile, which Nigeria won the trophy – Golden Ball Award winner.
8. In December 2015, Drean team VI (Nigeria’s U23 national team) won CAF U23 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) in Senegal.
9. Ogenekaro Etebo, Nigeria’s attacking Midfielder scored 5 goals to emerge the highest goal scorer of the tournament, which Nigeria also won the trophy – Golden Boot Award Winner
10. Azubuike Okechukwu, Nigeria’s enterprising playmaker, emerged the most valuable at CAF U23 AFCON in Senegal, which Nigeria also won the trophy.