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The former fleet-footed winger has expressed his displeasure with the tactics of the West Africans under the German tactician

Tijani Babangida has lamented Nigeria’s style of playing football, which he described as “kick and follow” under Gernot Rohr.

The Super Eagles were known for their style of play in Africa, with a lot of emphasis on wing-play, which has helped them win a number of laurels, including three Africa Cup of Nations titles.

The West Africans have heavily been criticized for not having a definite playing style under German tactician, Rohr.

Last month, the Super Eagles laboured to back-to-back draws against lowly-rated Sierra Leone in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. 

Babangida claimed Nigeria’s deviation from their football culture is the reason for their struggle to win games in recent times.

“We never knew Nigeria as a country that plays kick and follow football but we already lost our culture of football in Africa,” Babangida told Punch

“We have our own culture of play, just like the Brazilians, and I believe only Nigeria and Brazil have that culture in football. But we have lost it.

“You will discover that whenever we play against any team with whatever tactics they come up with, they fall down easily when we start playing our game.

“Now we have changed and we are not looking for those kinds of players that suit the system. And then we find it difficult because we are playing the 4-4-2 defensive system and that’s why we are always having problems.

“Nigeria is a country with a lot of potential players and the only country that can compete with Nigeria in terms of potential is Brazil.

“We are almost the same as them and that’s why we were always beating other Africans or other nations when we played against them because we have the quality, we have the group and we also have the culture. But that culture is what we have lost.”

Babangida made 36 appearances for the Super Eagles during his playing years, scoring five goals before his retirement



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December 19, 2020