Super Eagles coach, Lars Lagerback was the centre of attention in Abuja yesterday afternoon, as the Swedish soccer tactician addressed a world press conference in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) secretariat.
He used the occasion to reassure Nigerian football fans about his total commitment towards ensuring the team does well at the World Cup, while also promising a level playing ground in his selection of players, as he disclosed that 45 of them have been short listed to start the build-up programme.
“We have started taking a look at Nigerian players and we will continue looking at the best players we can use for the World Cup.
“I already have a short list of 45 players we can choose from, who are I believe are the best Nigeria has. They also include domestic players who I had a chance of seeing play against Congo.
“We will continue monitoring the players and see which of them can fit into the programme, as we start playing our friendly matches,” a calm and collected Lagerback stated.
Meanwhile, the soccer tactician has picked Swedish Football Association match analyst Ulf Kristiansson to join him in Nigeria for the World Cup.
The Swede had asked to bring three assistants along with him, an assistant coach, a match analyst and a physical trainer.
With Roland Andersson confirmed as his assistant, it was the identities of the match analyst and physical trainer that remained a mystery.
Kristiansson says he was asked last week and is happy to join up with his former boss.
“(It was) fun to be asked and an excellent opportunity to learn,” Kristiansson said on the Swedish Football Association website.
“My time in Nigeria will begin in the month of May and throughout the World Cup. I was asked by Lars Lagerback at the end of last week and see it as an incredible boost.”
Kristiansson, according to the Swedish football association, has worked for the last two years as match analyst for the SvFF.
He has also been youth coach at AIK, Hammarby and also worked as a senior coach. He is currently with Täby IS and also assists Sweden Under-19 women’s coach Calle Barr Modeling.
From South Africa, he will join up with the squad in Germany for the FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup.
“I will go directly from the World Cup in South Africa to Germany and the World Cup with the Swedish Under-20 women’s squad,” Kristiansson said.
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