HARARE – Former Zimbabwe captain Benjani Mwaruwari believes Nigeria will do well at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and will make it past the group stages.
The Super Eagles were placed in a relatively tough Group D that also includes South American giants Argentina, surprise package Iceland and Croatia.
Speaking with Nigerian website completesportsnigeria.com, the former Warriors striker warned Gernot Rohr’s side to be disciplined and avoid fighting over bonuses while in Russia.
The Super Eagles’ previous participation at the World Cup have often been marred by in-fighting between players and officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).
The Super Eagles were embroiled in bitter dispute with the NFF officials at the 1994 and 1998 editions of the World Cup in the United States and in France respectively which hampered their progress in the competition despite promising starts.
It was the same in house squabbles at the 2014 World Cup that hampered the Super Eagles performances in Brazil.
“I believe the Super Eagles have what it takes to qualify from their group,” the former Portsmouth and Manchester City striker said.
“Argentina and Croatia are very strong with top quality players. Argentina with Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero will be difficult to beat, while Croatia have Luca Modric and other quality players.
“But if you look at the Super Eagles, they have a lot of young and quality players too which will make them tough opponents for any team in Russia.
“I see them doing well in Russia but they have to do things with discipline. They must avoid unnecessary squabbles over money which has affected their performance in previous competitions.
“It is an African thing and I hope the football federation in Nigeria and other African countries will learn from their past mistakes. ”
The Super Eagles will face Croatia on June 16 at the Kaliningrad Stadium in their opening game in Russia 2018.
Their second group game is against Iceland on June 22 at the Volgograd Arena, while their last group fixture is against Argentina at the Krestovsky Stadium, St.Petersburg.
The other four African teams that have qualified for the 2018 World Cup are Egypt, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.