Widely regarded as one of the most versatile players in the Super Eagles team of the 1990s and early 2000s, Lawal was often used for any position ranging from defence to attack, on the left wing, and helped the team win the Olympic gold medal in 1996.
He was also part of Nigeria’s team that participated in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup, as well as the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Things are not the way they used to be
Likening the quality of today’s football to the way it used to be in the 1990s and early 2000s, Lawal stated that the country was no longer producing ‘raw material footballers’ anymore.
“Those days, you had individual players that could make differences, like Jay-Jay Okocha who could do everything with the ball,” the ex-footballer turned administrator said in an interview with ATHLST.
“You had people who were good passers, people that could tackle, and people that could mark. Now I don’t think we have those kinds of raw material players again.
“These days, we have players who have no consistency. When you don’t have consistency in football, there’s no way forward.”
Why are our Super Eagles playing like this?
Speaking even further on the current crop of Super Eagles players, Lawal stated that the inconsistency of most players in the team is the reason the team is struggling.
“I believe the players these days are too pompous,” he said, replying to a question about social media negatively affecting the Super Eagles.
“When they play small game, we talk. If they were up here, the next day they are down there. Their performance will continually be going up and down.
“And that’s why we’re crying up till today, why are our Super Eagles playing like this?”
Lawal was a regular under every Super Eagles manager from his debut in 1996 till his retirement in 2006. He scored six times for Nigeria.