Continents of the world and its nations will all be focused on the USSR “Russia” as the Federation International of Football Association FIFA will announce the national teams and their group stage opponents latter today at 6PM GMT.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles and 31 other national teams will get to know their group stage opponents as FIFA stages the World Cup draws in Moscow.
Many Expects Nigeria to be grouped with Argentina, the nationality of Lionel Messi, who they met in the 1994 World Cup.
Nigeria legends Austin Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu are among the former football stars invited by FIFA as special guests for Friday’s draw
Complete sports reports that Okocha and Kanu will be joined by legends of the game like Samuel Eto’o, Marcelo Desaily, Ronaldo Nazario Luis de Lima, Ronaldinho Gaucho, Lothar Matthaus, Peter Schmeichel, Didier Drogba among others for the draw ceremony.
Millions of football fans will watch with baited breath, waiting to map out their favourite team’s path through the tournament.
Here are the 32 Competing nations:
Even football’s most prized players, Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar also said they would be full of expectations in interviews with FIFA.com.
“I’m relaxed because, although some teams are stronger than others, all the groups will be balanced. I’m calm because I know that, when the time comes, the team will be ready,” explained a laid-back Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Whoever we’re drawn against, we have to win, no matter what,” he added with characteristic determination.
“I’ll be following it, so long as we don’t have training or a match,” confirmed Lionel Messi, who also confessed that he was already imagining who Argentina’s potential opponents might be.
Like Ronaldo, Neymar was in relaxed mood. “I believe that we’re ready to take on anyone.”
But the Brazilian also admitted that this Friday would not be just another day, and that he already had plans for the draw.
“We’re going to put some popcorn in the microwave, and call family and friends. Everyone will have a keen eye on the television.”
The Russian capital, which celebrated its 870th anniversary in September, is no stranger to football fever.
This huge, sprawling city fell in love with the sport way back in Soviet times, and the relationship endures to this day.
The World Cup draw in the Kremlin on Friday launches Russia’s bid to turn a page on its history of football hooliganism and racism while warding off a terror threat linked to Moscow’s intervention in Syria.
The success of the tournament is also a matter of personal pride for Vladimir Putin after the Russian strongman helped wrest the June 14-July 15 competition from England in an ugly 2010 battle before relations with the West dramatically collapsed over Ukraine.
It is an $11.5-billion (9.7-billion-euro) gamble for which many of the 11 host cities underwent their first major post-Soviet facelifts with the potential to create the same “white elephant” stadiums and hotels left behind by the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
And the 2,500 kilometres (1,550 miles) between the westernmost stadium in Kaliningrad near Poland and easterly one in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg — the same distance separating Paris and Moscow — will test the fans’ resolve.