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Honour at stake as Brazil face table-topping Flying Eagles in score-settling fixture




In the annals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, no team has presented greater obstacles to Nigeria’s Flying Eagles as the Brazilians have done.

Both teams renew their rivalry this Saturday in La Plata Argentina as Brazil will be seeking to cross the group stage obstacle to get to the Round of 16.

With six points, Nigeria’s qualification is already assured as top seed from Group  D or even as runners-up or one of the third best placed teams.

But Brazil will have to win and also anchor their hopes on the result of the corresponding Italy versus Dominican Republic duel.


A possible win by Italy may spell doom for Brazil, the most winner of the U20 trophy but having a lull in the past eight years.

Their wide margin defeat of Dominican Republic last Wednesday was their first ever win of an Under 20 World Cup match in eight years – their longest-ever drought in the competition.

They will certainly wish to build on the record 6-0 win on Saturday.

It will be the sixth time Nigeria and Brazil will clash at the U20 World Cup.

No team had inflicted more defeat on the Flying Eagles more than Brazil had done.


The best result that the Flying Eagles obtained in their past five encounters with Brazil was the goalless draw in 2005 in Holland.

All the other four were heavy defeats: 3-0 in 1983, 2-0 in 1985, 4-0 in 1987 and 4-2  in 2015.

No nation has made more FIFA U-20 World Cup appearances than Brazil. They are featuring for the 19th time in 2023. Argentina 2023 will be Nigeria’s 13th appearance.

While Nigeria only played the championship match in 1989 and 2005, Brazil are the tournament winners on five occasions, Brazil’s A Seleção have reached the final nine times overall.

Also, Brazil have played more matches (105) and  recorded more wins (73) as well as  scoring more goals (239) than any other team in the history of the competition.


They are the only side to have reached the milestones of  100 matches played and 200 goals scored.

But it is not all positives for Brazil. The South Americans are participating in the finals for the first time since 2015, having missed out on qualification for the last two editions of the tournament.

They earned their place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup  2023 after winning the South American U-20 Championship for a record-extending 12th time in 2023.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.