*You can make Nigerian record with the players we have
By Olayinka Elebute
Mercurial former Nigerian Super Eagles midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana, has urged the national team to target the quarter-finals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It is a possible feat which the team can and should attain.
The cerebral football legend said: “we’ve been to a few World Cups in recent years and we need to be looking at progressing further – rather than crashing out in the early stages,” Olofinjana told BBC Sport.
“I think the country should be looking at perhaps the quarter-finals in the Russia 2018 World Cup.”
Meanwhile, only three African teams have ever reached the last eight at a World Cup – Cameroon were the first to do so in 1990. They were followed by Senegal in 2002 while the Black Stars of Ghana missed a penalty and failed to become the first African team to make the semi-finals in 2010.
Olofinjana also believes that coach Gernot Rohr can blend youth with experience in a side that made light work of a qualifying pool widely labelled the ‘Group of Death’.
Seyi Olofinjana was a Nigerian midfielder. He was born on 12 June 1980 in Lagos, Nigeria.
Seyi’s professional career took off in Crown FC of Ogbomosho in 1998, when the footballer penned his first senior contract. He made several appearances for the club during one season and transferred to Kwara United FC of Ilorin. Olofinjana spent four years with the Afonja Warriors and got ready for a higher level of performance.
In 2003, the midfielder completed a move to Norwegian side Brann and amassed 11 goals in 34 matches during one season, which drew the attention of various English clubs. In 2004, Seyi sealed a deal with Wolverhampton Wanderers and netted 16 goals in 135 games for the team during four years. The footballer managed to clinch a regular place at once and made a wonderful display, which helped him to make another qualitative leap forward.
In 2008, Olofinjana finalised a move to Stoke City and fired two goals in 18 fixtures for the club during one season. In the summer 2009, English side Hull City secured the midfielder’s services on a long-term deal and sent him on loan to Cardiff City one year later. Seyi made 39 appearances and found the net six times for the temporary team before returning to ‘The Tigers’.
Having made only 40 appearances during four years, Olofinjana left the squad in 2013. In October that year Seyi was offered a contract with Sheffield Wednesday.
From 2002, the footballer was capped 44 times for the Nigeria national squad.