Green Eagles played for Free with Passion, these Boys do it for Money – Chukwu

Green Eagles played for Free with Passion, these Boys do it for Money – Chukwu

Nigeria’s first AFCON winners played for pride and the passion of representing the country, without getting paid, former Captain and later coach of the national team, Christian Chukwu insists that is what makes that era stand out among others.

Chukwu led the Green Eagles as they were once called to the 1980 AFCON title on home soil, clinching Nigeria’s first prestigious football honor on the continent.


The two teams are led out onto the pitch by their captains, Algeria’s Ali Fergani (l) and Nigeria’s Christian Chukwu (r) (Photo by Peter Robinson/EMPICS via Getty Images)

Several years down the line, the Eagles metamorphosed and would later be referred to as the Super Eagles.


That new generation have won the AFCON twice more, albeit more like mercenaries Chukwu suggested.


In an interview with, the former Defender said a major distinction between the different eras of the national team was the prioritization of reward over service.


“The Green Eagles were Men, while the Super Eagles were boys,” said Chukwu.


“In the Green Eagles, we were talented amateur footballers who played for passion.

” With the Super Eagles, their generation is mostly professional footballers who get paid for playing football, but it is hardly a bad thing.”



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