Croatia's Blazevic: Why I didn't want Nigeria in our group

Croatia's Blazevic: Why I didn't want Nigeria in our group
Zunis Stopilla of Zambia challenges Obi Mikel of Nigeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Dec 05, 2017. 09:00

In the wake of the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw which was conducted last Friday, ex-Croatian national team coach Miroslav Blazevic reveals why he didn't want to his country to be paired with Nigeria.

The Super Eagles are in Group D with Croatia, Iceland and Argentina, and the 82-year-old coach says Nigeria are a tough opponent.

“We must immediately say that the group is tough, not just because it really is, but what is needed for us with our mentality,” Blazevic told


“Yes, the group is loaded, in one part and spectacular, and it is not to be overcome. It can, we have a squad of high-value footballers

“Nigeria are our biggest rivals in our group. They are desirous of proving they are Africa's best football team.

“Nigeria have progressed, have strength and the motive is greatest. That's why I did not want Nigeria.”

The Super Eagles will face off against the Blazers in their opening game at Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad on June 16.

In their second match, coach Gernot Rohr's men will face Iceland on June 22 and wrap up their group stage campaign against Argentina four days later.

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