Portugal Coach, Fernando Santos Writes Off Nigeria’s World Cup Chances
If the opinion of Portugal head coach, Fernando Santos is anything to reckon with, then Nigeria will not be advancing to the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup.
Reigning European champions Portugal play in the same group as Spain, Morocco and Iran while the Nigeria face Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Group D, but Santos does not feel both African sides will progress from their respective groups.
“Morocco and Nigeria will not have it easy in their respective groups as they face top footballing sides and others,” he said.
Interestingly, Santos does not fancy his Portuguese side, who boast the current ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo, as favourites for the Mundial.
“For me, the favourites are Brazil, Germany, Spain, Argentina and France,” the 63-year-old told Blog Ora Bolas.
“I say this due to the enormous strength in depth they have and the extraordinary quality of their teams, in addition to their experience on the big stages and success.
“We know that we’re not the favourites (Portugal) and we accept the favouritism of the other teams, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have ambition and the clear goal of going into each match to win.
“I think no African Country would scale through the group stage. I don’t have the intention of thinking we’re better than everyone else, but we believe greatly in our quality and know we’ll be difficult to beat.”
Wow! Someone may have to tell Santos that Nigeria already walloped Argentina in an international friendly.
Russia 2018 can’t come soon enough…