These are 10 things you might have missed on TV during the game between Nigeria and Atletico Madrid.
Spanish giants Atletico Madrid on Monday, May 22 beat a selected Nigerian XI 3-2 in a friendly game at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
Fernando Torres, Angel Correa and Borgas Garces Moreno scored for Atletico Madrid while Kelechi Nwakali and Usman Mohammed netted for Nigeria.
If you were among the millions that saw the game on TV or didn’t see it at all, these are 10 things you might have missed.
1. How did the Nigeria Vs Atletico Madrid friendly game come about
Club Vs country friendly game is an everyday fixture in football, nonetheless Nigeria Vs Atletico Madrid, it was only possible from the console of games.
But at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Monday, a selected Nigerian side clashed with a star-studded Atletico Madrid.
The friendly game was an initiative from the partnership between La Liga and the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and sponsored by cable television DSTV-that was why the friendly game was called GOTv Max Cup.
La Liga have been looking to strengthen ties with Nigeria and have partnered with the League Management Company (LMC) organisers of the NPFL and also launching an office in Nigeria.
As part of this partnership, last year, a selected squad from the NPFL travelled to Spain to participate in the prestigious Carranza La Liga World Club tourney and also played a friendly match against Valencia CF.
2. Emem Eduok draws ire of fans
Nigerian forward Emem Eduok drew the ire of home fans at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium because of some misses.
In the first half, Eduok was found guilty of not running into space for right back Musa Mohammed and the fans at that corner were furious.
Several times, they called on the 24-year-old to run into space for his teammate.
The bashing even became more intense when he gave away the ball just before Angel Correa equalised for Atletico Madrid.
His substitution was cheered.
2. Rohr impressed with Nwakali
Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr was in the stands for the game and he was hugely impressed with Kelechi Nwakali who was one of the stars of the game.
The Arsenal player was a delight in the game, stringing passes together with his brother Chidiebere and drawing the cheers with some deft touches.
Rohr was shown on screen everytime Nwakali pull off a good move. When he scored, the Super Eagles was seen smiling and nodding.
He has never invited the 19-year-old to the national team but that is sure to change,
3. The act of pressure by Simeone and Burgos
Atletico manager Diego Simeone and his assistant German Burgos were their usual selves on the touchline, shouting at players and pressuring match officials.
Not minding that this was just a friendly, Simeone and Burgos didn’t allow a decision go uncontested.
Towards the end of the game, he implored everyone on the bench to stand up and they are started waving their hands at the referee to end the game.
4. Ovation for Torres and Simeone, Oblak too
Fernando Torres was clearly the most popular Atletico Madrid player as he was cheered everytime his face was shown on the big screen.
Simeone was a fans favourite too at the stadium while Jan Oblak got the locals excited also.
Torres’ popularity greatly highlights why La Liga are very keen on the Nigerian market. The veteran striker is widely known in Nigeria for his days in the Premier League while Simeone’s touchline dramatics are well documented.
5. No new jersey for the Super Eagles
The Super Eagles players played with the old Nigerian jersey, not the new kits that were unveiled in February for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The new Nike kits have only been used by the main Super Eagles of Nigeria
6. Fake jerseys on parade
The new Nike Super Eagles jerseys have not been made public, but fakes pieces have dominated the streets of Nigeria.
At the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, hundreds were fans were donning the fake jerseys.
7. Simeone and his defence
The Atletico Madrid’s 3-0 win over Marseille in the final of the 2018 Europa League was their 200th clean sheet in 377 games a corroboration of the work Simeone has done at the club.
It was clear to see on Tuesday night as the manager stood on the touchline all through the game shouting at his defence.
Simeone didn’t talk to his attackers or midfielders much of the game except when shouting at them to defend. His defence was the main concern, constantly barking and shouting instructions at them.
8. Gbenga Okunowo the interpreter
Former Super Eagles and Barcelona defender Gbenga Okunowo was the interpreter when Simeone was speaking to the Nigerian press at the post-match press conference.
The journalists asked questions in English while Okunowo interpreted to Simeone in Spanish then translates the manager’s responses to the media.
9. Twitter not loving art gift for Torres
After the game, Torres was presented with a art made out of metal. The art is made to resemble a Naira note and Twitter wasn’t pleased with the gift to El Nino.
“It was an afterthought. If it was really made for him there should be his name engraved on it somewhat. Someone just went to remove that item from where it was hung and claimed it is a gift for Torres. What a shame. Zero correlation between the gift and the occasion,” a Twitter user with the handle @OlasehindeJames wrote.
“Shameless people, you demonstrated to them that we are still uncivilized. This is funny and meaningless. It symbolises nothing but we Nigerians thinks and respects only money,” another user @yakubunkumo said.
“If you check well, the person they contracted to do that sculpture might have used rubbish material. It will now turn to rust in El Nino's house,” @endee91 said.
“My goodness how is Torres suppose to take that welded put together metal back to Spain with him…My country's mentality will never change for their mind now na better gift… Nigeria fall my hand,” @brklynsfynest said.
10. Mutiu Adepoju and Atletico Madrid assistant manager Burgos know each other very well
After the game, Super Eagles legend Adepoju and the eccentric Burgos who is the Atletico Madrid assistant manager hugged each other when they met after the game.
Both of them played in the La Liga at the same time in the early 2000s and must have known each other very well within that period.