Even as the euphoria of a fifth FIFA U-17 World Cup triumph by the Golden Eaglets is yet to subside, pioneer skipper of the team which won the 1985 inaugural tournament in Tokyo, Japan, Nduka Ugbade has described the boys as ‘’global heroes.’’
Ugbade told Nigerian Pilot Sports exclusively on Tuesday that the team rode on the back of hardwork and sheer dedication to clinch the title by beating Mali in Sunday’s final in Chile.
“Nigerians never gave the team any chance of reaching the final let alone winning the trophy after they finished fourth at the 11th African U-17 Championship in Niamey, Niger Republic. But this is football where anything is possible,’’ began Ugbade who served as an assistant coach in the Manu Garba-led coaching crew that won the 2013 edition of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.
The Eaglets barely managed to qualify for Chile 2015 after finishing fourth, losing the third-placed play-off 3-1 to Guinea.
“Some Nigerians call them names after the CAF U-17 tournament in Niamey. A lot of people didn’t give them a chance to make any impact in Chile. Today I’m very happy that the Eaglets have become global heroes with their outstanding performance in Chile,’’ said Ugbade who was elevated to the Flying Eagles as assistant coach.
He urged authorities at the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to closely monitor the progress of the newly-crowned world U-17 champions ‘’to ensure that their development is not derailed by football scouts and European club.’’

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