Ben Iroha: Nigerian players need to improve

The former left back has predicted a turnaround for Nigerian players on the world scene in the nearest future if they continue to work hard

Former international left back Benedict Iroha has declared that with improved performances from Nigerian players in Europe, the country will soon break into the exclusive list of 50 best players in the world.

He said this with regards to the Goal 50, an annual list of the best players in the world that will soon be published by Goal. No Nigerian player has made the list since it began to be published in 2008.

Iroha was a stand-out performer in the heart of defence and he played a pivotal role in the Super Eagles' squad that lifted the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia in 1994. The same team later went to the USA' 94 Fifa World Cup and were a delight to watch. They were only two minutes away from an historic quarter final feat before Roberto Baggio's goal evened the score line for the Azurris of Italy and later got another goal from the spot in the extra time to eliminate Nigeria.

Iroha in a chat with Goal said that the country is producing players that are doing very well for their respective clubs and that if they do not tire out, in the next few years they will break into the Goal 50.

He cited the examples of Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa, Emmanuel Emenike and others who are not only playing for established clubs but are also featuring very well for them in their domestic leagues and other competitions.

"I can't say that we do not have players that are doing very well for their clubs. Emenike, Moses, Igiebor, Musa and a host of others are doing well and if they keep up their good work, it is possible that they can break into the top players in the world,” said Iroha.

"We must re-work our mentality and also ensure our players sign for the right clubs and for the right offers too. With that we can compete with the very best in the coming years," Iroha stated.

The Goal 50 will be published on July 29.