The last time Nigeria attended the World Cup was South Africa 2010, this was the period in time Yakubu Aiyegbeni had comfortably missed a very short call and Nigerians even took it upon themselves to measure the length of the miss independent of the football body, 1 yard was the conclusion.
Fast forward to February 2018, the entire nation is tickled pink in anticipation of where faith and efforts can see the national soccer team through in Russia later his year. On Wednesday (Feb. 7); at an event in London, sportswear mammoth Nike, returned as Nigeria’s kit sponsor for the first time since the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and South Korea, with a trending buzz across social platforms, plenty love and appearance from pop celebrities, fans and soccer journalists, the quick notice was even quicker to land itself a spot on the British newspaper: Daily Mirror’s soccer website, ranking the jersey the best of the 20 known jerseys launched so far.
It’s only right to point out that as a Nigerian, it’s easy for me to identify with the sportswear, a native and adventitious artifact at the same time, the home jersey is a dark green reflection with a neon logo while the away jersey is a shade of light green and white with stripes (you didn’t just think I was going to be deep right?). One reason the jerseys are proving quite popular is because they pay homage to some of Nigeria’s best ever moments in soccer. The away jersey is suggestive of Nigeria’s Nike-made jerseys at the 1994 World Cup when the country made its first ever appearance at the tournament.
The badge has also reportedly been recolored in honor of Nigeria’s team at the 1996 Olympics—the first African team to win gold in the soccer event at the Olympics. Nigeria is the latest unveil a retro-inspired jersey with several World Cup-bound teams recreating kits from the 1980s and 1990s.
Talk about design and detailing on the jerseys, the engineering of the product launch and the partnership with The Native to tell a story behind, we can boast of a nice departure from the past when national teams jerseys have been rather monotonous. The off-field pieces are a hit, too. In a video Nike posted, players seeing the kits for the first time liked the looks so much they started planning what trainers they would wear with them, if you’re a super fan then it’s something to be very excited about.
The kit launch is the latest in a string of events that have left Nigerians excited about making a sixth appearance at the World Cup. Meanwhile, the first time Nigerians will see the Super Eagles in the new kit will be on March 23 when they take on Poland in a pre-World Cup friendly. Nike says the World Cup kit collection will be released in June so get ready to turn your piggybanks down. All play and no work will still see jack end up dull so we can only hope for the very best.