NIGERIA’S Super Eagles are to play a friendly game against Brazil’s almighty Selecao on October 13 in Singapore as part of the ongoing programme to get the team in shape ahead of the forthcoming 2022 World Cup and 2021 Nations Cup qualifiers.
Fresh from a recent 2-2 draw with Ukraine, the Eagles are looking in fine shape, especially upfront where their pace can worry opposing teams on the counter-attack. Preparing for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers themselves, Brazil have decided to face two African teams next month, with a match against Senegal on October 10 and then face Nigeria three days later, both at the National Stadium in Singapore.
Featuring the likes of Neymar, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, Brazil, the reigning Copa America champions, are coached by Tite and are expected to field their strongest squad in the mini tournament. According to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), the two sides have been picked as they want to test their mettle against sides from different parts of the world.
National team coordinator Juninho Paulista said: “We chose two of the best African teams because they are high-level confrontations and the Brazilian national team has had few encounters with them in recent years.”
Senegal, led by Liverpool star Sadio Mane, are the best African side in the Fifa world rankings at number 20. Known as the Lions of Teranga, they reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in July this year but lost 0-1 to Algeria, who lifter the trophy.
Nigeria, currently ranked 33 in the world, reached the semi-finals of that tournament where she lost 1-2 to Algeria. This will be the first time Nigeria has played Brazil since 2003, when the Super Eagles lost 0-3 to Selecao in Abuja.
Under Tite, Brazil have faced just one African side, when they defeated Cameroon 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Everton striker Richarlison. This will be the second time the Brazil national football team have come to play in Singapore.
In October 2014, they faced Japan in a football friendly in front of a 51,577-strong crowd at the National Stadium, and won 4-0 with all four goals scored by Neymar. Singapore’s national football side will also play their 2022 World Cup qualifying match against Uzbekistan at the National Stadium next month, two days after the Brazil v Nigeria game.