The Super Eagles may have delivered uninspiring performances in their recent international friendly matches against Algeria and Tunisia, but they did sparkle with their jerseys.
The Nigerian team was generally disappointing on the pitch; losing to Algeria and drawing 1-1 against Tunisia. Based on those performances and results, it is safe to assume that sports betting fans will not be backing the Eagles in a big match any time soon.
No one wants to keep losing money to the numerous betting sites in Nigeria any longer!
Having said that, it was not all doom and gloom!
The new ‘Swoosh’ kits designed by sportswear giant Nike were among the few high points in the Eagles’ last outing. The Nigeria Football Federation announced the release of the new home and away designs in September ahead of the international friendly matches in October.
While the kits did not generate the same level of buzz that followed the release of the 2018 World Cup kits, they did create their fair share of excitement. The 2018 design was so popular that Nike received a record three million pre-orders in a matter of minutes ahead of its official release. It was voted the best kit of all 32 designs that were on display at the Russia 2018 World Cup in a poll organized by Sky Sports.
If it was by jerseys alone, Nigeria would probably have won that World Cup!
The latest designs haven’t quite replicated those numbers, but the jerseys are as good as they get in terms of quality and aesthetics.
According to Nike, the new home kit is a fine blend of the traditional aesthetics of Agbada robe widely popular in the South Western part of Nigeria, and elements of modern football design. It is adorned with symbols representing the Nigerian heritage.
The official crest of the Nigeria Football Federation is placed centrally, complete with a swoosh beneath it.
The Eagle feather also features prominently on the design, incorporated into the names and numbers. The colloquial title for the country, ‘Naija’ is etched in fine prints around the neck region and on the socks.
Onaism, the traditional artistic movement that inspired the away kit, is well represented.
The trim details are distorted creatively with increasing size to create a masterpiece for visual impact. The collar features a V overlap both in the front and at the rear. Aside from the artistic brilliance and ingenuity of the designers who worked on the kits, science also played a prominent role in bringing them to life. The kits were designed to ensure optimum comfort and performance, and endure the most rigorous conditions.
Since the release of the latest Super Eagles jerseys, there has been endless comparison between the current design and the previous one, with many arguing that the new ones are better. However, one of the brains behind the product, Teezee, who worked along with Grace Ladoja, Bubu Isigo and Rukky Ladoja on the designs explained that they did not come up with a kit to trump the 2018 design, but to introduce elements synonymous with Nigeria.
“It’s about introducing new innovation with local-inspired techniques for these new ones”, he stated.
The designs also came with the full clothing collection, including a poncho, vest, dress and snickers.
On the pitch, the Eagles could not quite replicate the resplendence of their kits. Hopefully, they will be a lot better when the more important matches come up. Gernot Rohr’s men are back in action in November, when they face Sierra Leone in the AFCON qualifiers. The Eagles are top of their qualifying group, and are odds on favourites on betting sites like Betway to reach the continental showpiece.
Nigerian football fans may not be too happy with the team at the moment, but one thing you cannot take away from them is that they did get heads turning with their dazzling looks in the latest Nike offerings.