The Super Eagles have long been everyone’s favourite plucky World Cup wildcard West Africans - ever since they topped their group in 1994 and were two minutes away from knocking out eventual finalists Italy. This is before Il Divin Codino himself, Roberto Baggio, scored a last minute equaliser and then an extra-time winner in the Second Round as part of his quest to singlehandedly drag an underperforming Italy into the final, before ending the tournament as Diana Ross began it by blasting his penalty about half a mile over the bar to cede the trophy to Brazil.
But anyway, back to Nigeria.
In 1998, they had the core of their impressive 1994 squad intact, two outrageous geniuses in the forms of Jay Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu, and an absolute nutter with a hairstyle to match their kit colour in the legendary Taribo West.
Now, many put their 1994 exit down to their, frankly, atrocious kit design. Adidas had decided for some reason to put what I can only describe as bizarre dollar bills all over the area surrounding the collar, and then absolutely all over the away kit as well.
Nigeria (Adidas) 1994
Thankfully, 1998 saw the Super Eagles bounce back in a classy and classic plain light green number with white trimmings, and they did not disappoint, topping their group and dumping out Spain in a 3-2 win in the process. Unfortunately their 1998 dream was to end in the Second Round again, succumbing to a 4-1 loss to a strong Denmark side containing both Laudrup brothers. But luckily this time they did it in style thanks to this iconic kit.
Nigeria (Nike) 1998
So, Mr West et al, for adding a bit of African flair to France ‘98, we at the Football Shirt Collective salute you.