Jinx or not Jinx: Fate of the Nigeria Number 9 Jersey at FIFA World Cups
It seems the Super Eagles jersey No 9 is jinxed in the World Cup. Overtime, at every World Cup tournament any player that wears the No 9 jersey has failed to score a goal at the World Cup, since Rashidi Yekini scored Nigeria’s first-ever World Cup goal, against Bulgaria in 1994.
The occupants of the number 9 jersey have failed to find the target for the Super Eagles in 17 consecutive games at the tournament, a drought totalling 1016 minutes of football.
Here is a roll call of players that have worn the number nine (9) jersey after Rashidi Yekini but have failed to score a goal at the World Cup.
In the 1998 World Cup, Rashidi Yekini, again wore the no 9 jersey though he was starting from the bench.
Bartholomew Ogbeche: In the 2002 World Cup, he wore the number 9 Jersey but failed to find the back of the net as Nigeria crashed out of the World Cup without winning a game. In fact, the only goal at the world cup was scored by Julius Aghahowa.
Nigeria didn’t qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Obafemi Martins: In the 2010 World Cup, he wore the number 9 jersey for the Nigeria Super Eagles but he failed to score a goal in the tournament. Nigeria eventually clashed out of the tournament at the Group Stage.
Emmanuel Emenike: At the 2014 World Cup, he played as a top striker in Brazil but failed to score a goal at the tournament. Nigeria, however, got to the second round of the tournament before they lost to France 2-1.
Odion Ighalo: He wore the jersey number 9 at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia and like others before him, he has failed to score at the FIFA World Cup even as Nigeria crashed out at the Group Stage. After missing a clear opportunity in the game against Argentina, it is becoming obvious that the number 9 jersey of the Super Eagles at FIFA World Cups may actually be jinxed.