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FIFA World Cup

Did Yemi Tella use overage players to help Nigeria win the 2007 FIFA World Cup?

The 2007 Nigerian u-17 team was highly praised and tipped for greatness. It was a team filled with talents who many hoped would go on to do great things in the world of football, as the u-17 level would open doors for them.

Chrisantus Macaulay won the golden ball of the tournament, and also the golden boot. He was one of those who were tipped to do great things. After the tournament, he moved to Hamburg in Germany and ever since, saw his career nosedive. He played in a number of countries - Greece, Spain, Germany, etc, but never saw his career kickstart.

He never even had the opportunity to play for the Super Eagles. Kabiru Akinsola was also another highly-rated player. It would be difficult to forget his pace and skill on the ball, however, his career has also failed to have a lift, just like most of the players in that squad. The captain of the team, Haruna Lukman has also failed to establish himself internationally for Nigeria.

Although he had a brief spell in the Super Eagles, a mix of attitude problems and lack of good performances saw him unable to totally showcase what he could do. Other players who failed to establish themselves are Ganiyu Oseni, Yakubu Alfa, amongst others.

This is in stark contrast to their fellow participants in the tournament. One of such players is Toni Kroos, who has played at the highest stages - winning the world cup and champions league (on multiple occasions). He has been a mainstay in the German national team, progressing naturally and developing into a world-class player.

Also, David De Gea has been phenomenal for club and country. Said to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world, his progression can't be compared to that of Dele Ajiboye, who was in goal for Nigeria during the tournament. These further shows are the team's lack of progression is prime evidence of the state of Nigerian football.

In all this, the bulk falls at the table of the manager. The need for quick success saw the team filled with various players (with a lot of people believing the team to be overage). This, in turn, meant that the team and players couldn't progress naturally as their bodies couldn't do what players of the age should do. It also denied players who qualified for that age bracket the opportunity to develop and show what they can do to the world. A sad tale of a team that promised so much, but delivered little.

All players were below the age of 17 and were registered into the FIFA Database. However, so much promise at U-17 level only led to many retiring before they clocked 30. 

Did Yemi Tella use overage players to win the 2007 U-17 World Cup in South Korea? leave your thoughts in the comments

Content created and supplied by: TosinSports (via Opera News )

Chrisantus Macaulay FIFA World Cup Nigeria Spain Yemi Tella


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