Nigeria’s Super Eagles world’s youngest team in 2015

The year 2015 was a good one for Nigerian football, especially with the performance of the various national teams.

The Super Eagles started another reformation process under new manager, Sunday Oliseh, after Stephen Keshi was sacked. And in a CIES Observatory paper released on Wednesday, the Super Eagles were the winners in one category – they fielded the youngest average squad in international matches in 2015.

So even though the Eagles finished 2015 in the 66th position in the FIFA ranking table, playing the youngest squad means that the future can be bright with the right management.

The report indicated that the average age of the Super Eagles was 24.7 and that players aged 22 or less featured 19% of the time for the team.

Romania featured the youngest player – defender Cristian Manea, who made his debut at 17 and the oldest one player featured was Hungary’s Gábor Király [the pyjamas-bottom wearing goalkeeper] at 39 as he helped his country qualify for the European Championships.

The oldest outfield player was the Ricardo Carvalho, at 37 years for Portugal in a match against Denmark in October.

Ahmed Musa, the new Eagles’ captain was the most used player in the team – he played 544 minutes for the Eagles and scored two goals.

The report also indicated that Nigeria used players not born in the country for 14.6% of the matches played and that would mean Alex Iwobi and Carl Ikeme.

Some of the players that helped to achieve this averagely young team were Moses Simon, Onyinye Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho amongst others and the average age could have been lower if someone like Obafemi Martins [31] had not played.

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