Nigeria,Catalonia presents redemption time
Nigeria's Super Eagles will go up against Catalonia in a pre-Afcon friendly game today.
The game, billed for Espanyol's Cornella-El Prat Stadium, will be the second time both teams will confront each other at any level.
In the first-ever meeting the Seleccio Catalana thumped the Super Eagles 5-0 at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on December 22, 1998.
Will revenge be uppermost in the minds of Stephen Keshi's men?
"What happened in 1998 is totally different from now. Our intention towards the game is different," Keshi told supersport.com before he left Nigeria with his team to their pre-Africa Cup of Nations camp in Faro, Portugal.
"It is a test game for the boys and we want to see some of them in a match situation. And it's going to be a good test against a side with quality and top footballers."
The Nigerian squad will have a blend of overseas and local players for the tie.
But Keshi and his team will come up against eight of FC Barcelona's current squad called up by Catalonia honorary coach, Johan Cruyff.
The likely big names from Barca include Victor Valdes, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez and Cristian Tello.
"For me it was a personal obligation. Forty years ago I was well received and have been here as a player and coach. I have fulfilled my obligations that I targeted,'' Cruyff, who steps down as Catalonia coach after three years in charge, told mundodeportivo.com recently.
During his three-year stint, Cruyff's Catalonia have recorded two wins against Argentina (4-2) and Honduras (4-0) and a 1-1 draw with Tunisia in December 2011.