General 2026 World Cup: Reasons for Hope


The Nigerian FA certainly acted swiftly in the aftermath of the nations failure to qualify for Qatar 2022, with the Super Eagles play-off loss to Ghana seeing the coaching staff relieved of their duties. And the cull may not stop there, with many calling for members of the Nigeria Football Federation to relinquish their duties. However, disappointment aside, many Nigerian fans will likely still be looking forward to what is one of the biggest sporting and betting spectacles on the planet. Thinking of placing a bet on who will lift the famous trophy? Don’t forget to check out the latest sign up betting offers.

What ultimately comes to pass regarding the sports governing body and management situation remains to be seen, but what does seem likely is that a significant chunk of the current playing squad will be past their best come 2026. There is however a talented wave of younger talent emerging, many of whom will be coming into their prime years by the time 2026 rolls around. At a dark moment for the Super Eagles, we pick out three younger stars who may yet light up tournaments in the years to come.

Victor Osimhen, Age:23​

Where else to start than with the man who is rapidly emerging as one of the most coveted forwards on the European transfer market. Having initially failed to make much of an impact at Wolfsburg in Germany, Osimhen’s career caught fire in a 12-goal loan stint at Belgian outfit Charleroi, sparking a move to Lille where he was named the clubs player of the season in 2019/20. Catching the eye of Napoli, a club record €70million transfer saw Osimhen switch France for Italy; and the poster boy of the Nigerian game has continued to light it up in Serie A, bagging 21 goals in his first 44 appearances for the Naples club. Now seemingly attracting the attentions of Premier League sides, a target man with a dose of the unpredictable about him, the hard-working Osimhen will still be only 27 in 2026 and looks the player to build the side around.

Samuel Chukwueze, Age: 22​

In terms of sheer excitement on the ball, Abia State born Chukwueze may be the player to get Nigerian football fans out of their seats for years to come. Blisteringly quick, with an ability to play on either flank – although most commonly on the right-hand side – his pace, allayed to a remarkable ability to extricate himself from the tightest of spots, makes him a nightmare for opposing defenders. Currently plying his trade with Villarreal in Spain, the influence of the excellent Unai Emery already seems to be benefitting his all-round game, with definite signs of improvement in both consistency and end product. A member of Nigeria’s 2015 Under 17 World Cup winning side, and still only 22, Chukwueze does still have areas of his game to improve, but if able to further fine tune that raw ability, may well emerge as an even more potent threat.

Akinkunmi Amoo, Age: 19​

And last but by no means least, a player who is yet to make his debut for the senior national side (as of early 2022) - FC Copenhagen’s pint sized, all action forward, Akinkunmi Amoo. Blessed with a low centre of gravity, excellent ball control and pace, Amoo can prove a threat from all areas of the pitch, whether deployed out wide or more centrally. At this stage in his career, he probably needs to learn to lift his head up more, but that beeline for goal style he possesses certainly makes him exciting to watch. Seemingly turning down more lucrative options in order to join Copenhagen in Denmark, the young man looks to be following a sensible career path, and one which we suspect may see him become a fixture of the national side.