Nigeria’s former national goal keeper, Peter Rufai, on Wednesday, said the Super Eagles do not need to play against top-rated teams as they prepare for the 2014 Federation of International Football Federation, FIFA, World cup which kicks off in June.
Rufai, a former Deportivo La Coruna player who represented the country at the USA 1994 and France 1998 editions, feels it is not compulsory for Stephen Keshi’s men to play big teams, stressing that they should play against small teams where the coach can make experiments.
“Friendly matches are used for a lot of things. Friendly matches don’t need to be with a very tough team before you know how to organize your team. It can be with a weak team. What is most important is the objective of playing such matches. The coach can use the match to study how to pair his key players or to judge the performances of certain players in specific conditions,” Rufai said.
While reiterating his belief in the ability of Stephen Keshi, Rufai offered some tips on how the Eagles can have a successful outing in Brazil.
“I believe the technical crew is capable of deciding which goalkeepers go to the World Cup. Their performance at their respective clubs and during the Super Eagles’ training should inform the coaches on who is ready to be in Brazil. Nobody is in a better position to determine which goalkeeper is good enough for the World Cup than the coaches.
“However, we don’t have time to start testing new players for the World Cup. If they keep bringing new people, there won’t be time to plan strategies for the tournament. What they need to do now is to make plans on who to take what position against certain teams at the World Cup; perfecting strategies should be their activities now. All the teams in the group are potentially tough for Nigeria; we’ve gone past the era when we consider some teams as weaklings. Anyone can send you out of the tournament,” he added.