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Soccer News of Monday, 8 August 2022


Rich or poor: Where are members of Nigeria's Atlanta 96 Dream team?

Atlanta 1996 Olympics team play videoAtlanta 1996 Olympics team

Nigeria's U-23 soccer team at the 1996 summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America will forever be in the hearts of Nigerians for their unprecedented achievement.

Famously called the Dream Team, Nigeria produced a remarkable performance at the 1996 tournament by winning the Olympic gold medal.

Nigeria made history by becoming the first African and non-European and South American team to achieve this feat.

The team was led by Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere and assisted by Nigeria’s Musa Abdulahi.

In this write-up, we will take a look at the contribution of some notable names in the Dream Team toward the astonishing feat some 26 years ago and their current endeavours.

Jay-Jay Okocha

Okocha was a key member of the Atlanta 96 squad. The former Super Eagles legend is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers and dribblers from the African continent.

Okocha has served as a football pundit on African sports broadcaster, Supersports since 2019, providing analysis for major tournaments, including the African Cup of Nations and the European championships.

Nwankwo Kanu

Nwankwo Kanu was pivotal in Nigeria's triumph during the 1996 summer Olympics.

Kanu was the captain of the Dream Team. He came into the 96 Olympics after winning the Champions League with Ajax.

His brilliance and technique helped Nigeria to edge out Brazil in the semi-final stage as he scored twice to propel Nigeria to the finals.

He is now a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and African brand ambassador for digital TV operator StarTimes.

Sunday Oliseh

The former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund defensive midfielder was a member of the historic Nigerian team.

Oliseh was 21 years during the 96 Summer Olympics. He was then plying his trade in Germany for FC Köln.

The former Super Eagles captain was appointed as the new head coach of German club SV 19 Straelen in June 2022.

Taribo West

Fondly remembered for his colourful hairstyle during his playing days. West was a pillar in defence during the Olympics in 1996.

The former Inter Milan and AC Milan defender played every single minute of the tournament.

West is now a full-time pastor and the founder of Shelter in the Storm Miracle Ministries of All Nation in Lagos.

Emmanuel Amunike

The former winger was the hero in the finals of the 96 Olympics after scoring the winner against Argentina in remarkable a 3-2 win.

Amunike played all the games during the tournament.

After being appointed as manager for the Egyptian Premier League club, Misr Lel Makkasa SC in February 2021, his role was later changed to director of academies.

Victor Ikpeba

Victor Ikpeba's contribution to the 1996 success cannot be overlooked, he began the comeback against Brazil in the semi-finals with a superb low strike.

Ikpeba now lives in Lagos and he is the co-host of Monday Night Football on Supersport.