Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, has said he is not convinced of his players’ ability to reach the semi-finals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup despite their impressive form for their European clubs during the just-concluded season.
While Rohr admits the likes of Paul Onuachu, who emerged Belgium’s Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner after a record-breaking season, Kelechi Iheanaco, Wilfred Ndidi, Samuel Chukwueze, William Troost-Ekong are top players, he says they don’t play for top-tier clubs like their African counterparts.
“They (other African countries) have players playing in the best teams in Europe, we don’t,” the Franco-German told ESPN.
“Our players are playing in lower clubs. We don’t have these players like Egypt, like Senegal, like Ivory Coast who are playing in the biggest clubs. Our players are playing in clubs that are not the best ones.
“Only Samuel Chukwueze won the Europa League with Villarreal. All others are fighting to stay in the league or are fighting to be starting player.
“When you see the world champions, France, the players are playing for Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, PSG and Manchester United.
“When we have players in the biggest teams, then we can say we have a chance to get to the semi-final of the World Cup.”
He added, “But they have to struggle to stay in the (top) league. This means that the level of the teams that they play for is not the same as the teams they play against.
“But we are happy about it to have some of them doing well. I think Onuachu, for instance, will have proposals from some bigger teams for the next season. Simy Nwankwo… I hope he will leave relegated Crotone. Terem Moffi too, I hope he will have a big club.”