Nigeria has made it into the FIFA U-20 World Cup 12 times and has three times shared a group with Brazil.
At that level, Nigeria and Brazil have faced each other four times, and the Flying Eagles have yet to win.
The Flying Eagles have only ever failed to get through their group twice in their 12 appearances—in 1987 in Chile and at the 1983 competition held in Mexico.
The team’s two closest attempts to win the FIFA U-20 World Cup were in 1989, when they were defeated 2-0 by the Joao Pinto-led team, and in 2005, when Argentina won 2-1 thanks to two penalty goals from Lionel Messi.
On Friday, 21 April, the Flying Eagles were once again drawn with the five-time champions as they seek a first-ever triumph and title. And it looks like Déjà vu.
Just like in 1987, when the tournament was held in Chile (South America), the 2023 edition is being held in Argentina (South America), and the Flying Eagles have to face both Brazil and Italy. Canada completed the 1987 group and in 2023, the Nigerian youngsters will have another North American team as the fourth team in their group-The Dominican Republic.
Nigeria’s record at the FIFA U-20 World Cup
1983 – Group stage
1985 – Third place
1987 – Group stage
1989 – Runners-up
1999 – Quarter-finals
2005 – Runners-up
2007 – Quarter-finals
2009 – Round of 16
2011 – Quarter-finals
2013 – Round of 16
2015 – Round of 16
2019 – Round of 16
Nigeria v Brazil at the FIFA U-20 World Cup
Group Stage 6 June 1983 Brazil 3–0 Nigeria Gilmar Popoca 7′, Ra 32′, Geovani 43′
Semi-final 4 Sep 1985 Brazil 2–0 Nigeria Müller 22′, Balalo 44′
Group Stage 11 Oct 1987 Brazil 4–0 Nigeria Alcindo 20′, André Cruz 29′, William 35′, 62′ (pen.)
Group Stage 12 June 2005 Brazil 0–0 Nigeria
Group Stage 1 June 2015 Nigeria 2–4 Brazil Success 10′, Yahaya 28′; Gabriel Jesus 4’Judivan 34′, 82’Boschilia 59′
Group Stage 18 Oct 1987 17:00 Nigeria 0–2 Italy Carrara 23′, Melli 24′
Dire record against Brazil
In five meetings with Brazil at the U-20 level, Nigeria has lost four and drawn once. The Flying Eagles have conceded 13 goals and scored just two, which makes for despair as the Ladan Bosso-led side failed to inspire hope with their below-average performance at the CAF U-20 tournament, where they finished third.
PREMIUM TIMES spoke to some die-hard Nigerian football fans, and they say it is hard to remember any of the players from that championship, which leaves many of them wondering whether this team will not be beaten black and blue in Argentina in May.
The Flying Eagles do not boast of a better record against the Italians, who were triumphant in the only encounter till date. Coach Bosso has invited 39 local players to kick off the camp ahead of the World Cup while the foreign players that will be chosen will join later.
Nathaniel Nwosu (Water FC); Chijioke Aniagboso (Giant Brillars); Saheed Jimoh (B. E. Arena Academy); John Otomblon (Mavlon FC)
Augustine Njoku (Abia Warriors); Ezekiel Bala; Muhammad Abdulsalam (Rising Stars); Solomon Agbalaka (Broad City FC); Israel Domingo (Family Worship FC): Benjamin Frederick (Nasarawa United); Femi Abubakar (Madiba FC); Daniel Bameyi (Yum Yum FC); Wisdom Udoh (Akwa United); Akinwale Akanbi (Lionheart FC)
Caleb Uchedikwu (Mavlon FC); Ogbelu Onuche (Nasarawa United); Daniel Daga (Dakkada FC): Samson Lawal (Pro-Success Academy); Bilyaminu Musa (Mailafia FC); Hitler Eniye (36 Lion FC); Muhammad Aminu (Gombe United); John Joshua (Nasarawa United); Musa Usman (Mailantarki FC); Ibrahim Abdullahi (Samba FC)
Haliru Sarki (Mahaniam FC): Kehinde Ibrahim (Green Light FC): Shettima Abubakar (Central Academy); Jude Sunday (Real Sapphire FC): Obiaku Ifesinachi (36 Lion FC); Abdullahi Usman (Samba FC); Salem Fago (Mavlon FC); Godwin Ositgbami (Kwara United); Babangida Abubakar (Mailantarki FC); Nurudeen Bala (Maikunkele FC); Olaitan Fabode (3SC); Adams Olubi; Adamu Aliyu (Nasarawa United); Ibrahim Beji (Cartagina FC); Ayatollah Usman (Niger Tornadoes).
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