Abuja (AFP) – Nigeria and Poland’s World Cup warm-up this week will provide vital experience for both sides as the finals approach, former international striker Emmanuel Olisadebe said Thursday.
Olisadebe was born in Nigeria but made 25 appearances for Poland, including at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
The 39-year-old former forward, who scored 11 times for Poland, said he was relishing what will be the first ever meeting between the countries at international level.
“This will be a good test for both teams before the World Cup and the result does not really matter,” he told AFP.
“Poland will face Senegal at the World Cup and so Nigeria will be a good African test for them.
“Nigeria, on the other hand, will from this game know their level of readiness for the World Cup. I believe the better team on the day will win.”
Olisadebe, who played for Polonia Warsaw as well as Greek giants Panathinaikos, said he was not surprised at Poland’s rise through the FIFA rankings to sixth place.
“They have some very good players, who play for good teams in good leagues around Europe,” he said. “They deserve their rating because they have won some important games.”
Nigeria’s defence is expected to be tested by Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski at the 42,000-capacity Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, which is sold-out for the occasion.
“He is their best player by many miles… The Nigeria defenders also play in Europe but it is not often that they come up against such a top striker like him,” said Olisadebe.
“They will need to stay fully concentrated and be focused for them to have a good game tomorrow.”
The Super Eagles continue their preparation with a fixture against Serbia in London on Tuesday next week.
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