Report: Nigeria set for pre-World Cup showdown with Messi’s Argentina

Nigeria will no longer face Lionel Messi's Argentina in the USA || Imago

Report: Nigeria set for pre-World Cup showdown with Messi’s Argentina

Joba Ogunwale 16:26 - 19.02.2024

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will face Lionel Messi and his Argentina squad in the United States of America.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles will face a Lionel Messi-led Argentina squad in a highly anticipated international friendly clash next month. 

Nigeria to face Argentina in the USA

The international friendly has been in the offing since the Super Eagles 2023 Africa Cup of Nations campaign. 

However,  there were doubts about whether the match would take place after  China decided against hosting the clash between the two nations. 

Pulse Sports had earlier reported that the clash would take place in the Far East before it was later revealed the country would not host it after Messi failed to feature in a friendly against Hong Kong XI during Inter Miami’s pre-season tour. 

This put the proposed match in jeopardy, with Argentina reportedly looking for a new venue to host the clash. 

It now appears the three-time world champions have found a new country to host the clash. According to Estebanedul as per Albisceleste Talk, the clash between Nigeria and Argentina will now take place in the United States in March 2024. 

There is no particular date yet, but it will take place during next month’s international break. It also remains to be seen if the Super Eagles will play another friendly match during that window after playing Argentina. 

Nonetheless, the chance to play in the United States will allow the Super Eagles to have a feel of what the next World Cup would be like should they qualify. 

Nigeria vs Argentina history

This will be the tenth high-level match between Nigeria and the Argentine national team, with the latter leading the head-to-head. 

In particular, their five World Cup meetings have resulted in victories for the Albiceleste (2-1 in 1994, 1-0 in 2002, 1-0 in 2010, 3-2 in 2014, and 2-1 in 2018).

Argentina confirms Nigeria friendly for March as the Super Eagles revive rivalry with Messi. - Imago
The Super Eagles will renew their rivalry with Argentina next month. - Imago

The other win came in a friendly match in 2011 when Argentina won 3-1 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The only ever draw was in the King Fahd Cup (0-0) in 1995. Argentina’s two losses were in friendlies in Abuja in 2011 and most recently a 2-4 defeat at Krasnodar,  Russia, in 2017.

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