We must not win every game — Captain Ndidi tells Nigerians to rest

Super Eagles skipper Wilfred Ndidi sparks controversy with “Nigerians” comment before Benin defeat | Credits: IMAGO

We must not win every game — Captain Ndidi tells Nigerians to rest

David Ben 16:45 - 11.06.2024

The Super Eagles are still winless after four games in the FIFAWCQ and some fans have called for Ndidi to be stripped of captaincy over his comments before the match.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria suffered a huge blow in their chances of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Nigeria fell to a 2-1 defeat against Benin Republic on Monday, June 10, at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire to put the Eagles chances of qualifying for the next edition football’s greatest showpiece.

The Super Eagles came into the game following a 1-1 home draw against South Africa four days prior.

Having missed the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Monday’s defeat condemned Nigeria to fifth place in Group C, with a slim chance of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

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Wilfred Ndidi sparks controversy with Super Eagles comment before Benin defeat

Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi captained the Super Eagles against South Africa and Benin Republic || IMAGO

Following the disappointing result on Monday evening, several fans have taken to social media to react.

While some have ultimately heaped blame on Super Eagles coach Finidi George, others have reacted to a clip of Wilfred Ndidi’s post-match comments after Nigeria was held to a draw by South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.

Wilfred Ndidi
Super Eagles of Nigeria star Wilfred Ndidi says new jersey will inspire win against South Africa.

The Leicester City midfielder who captained the Super Eagles in their last two World Cup qualifying fixtures, was quoted to have said after the South Africa draw:

“I think the group is still open. We still got a chance. There are no small countries anymore in football. Because we are Nigerians does not mean we’ll beat everybody.”

Netizens have now dug up the clip of Ndidi’s previous statements on the X platform, with some criticizing the midfielder over his leadership qualities.

One user wrote: “Captain Ndidi warned us. What a captain. What a leadership statement.”

Another user quipped: “The captain band must be removed from the arm of @Ndidi25 Wilfred Ndidi for making a statement that "we must not win every game just because we're Nigeria". He is unfit to lead the Super Eagles.”

Another commented: “ndidi is not fit to stand as a captain. I repeat, he Ndidi should not be allow to lead Super Eagles at any level. That statement is bad and enough for the team not to qualify them for World cup.”

One other comment read: “God will p*nish Ndidi once again for that statement he said earlier.”

Another responded with: “That statement by Ndidi is so wrong, football is a win or loose game but you don't come out publicly to say that, no club in this world has or can ever say such, mtcheeeww.”

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What next for Super Eagles?

Super Eagles
Super Eagles || Image credit: Imago

Super Eagles have managed just three points from three draws after the first four matches, while Gernot Rohr’s Benin lead Group C with seven points.

Nigeria's Finidi George.
Nigeria's Finidi George || X

The next set of matches will take place in March 2025, when the three-time African champions will travel to Kigali to face Rwanda and then host Zimbabwe.

Nigeria sit in fifth place in the qualification group with three points from four games. The Super Eagles rank only above Zimbabwe, who have a game in hand.