Former Super Eagles captain Sunday Oliseh is a member of the prestigious FIFA technical study group that awarded Argentina captain Lionel Messi the Golden Ball as the best player of the 2014 World Cup.
The 13-strong committee, which analyses matches at international tournaments, was set up after the 1966 World Cup to monitor trends and developments in the game. But their choice of Messi attracted severe criticism.
Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, has admitted his surprise by Messi’s selection as player of the tournament despite failing to score in the knockout stages, while Diego Maradona claimed Messi had been given the award for “marketing reasons”.
“Messi? I would give him heaven if possible,”Maradona said.
“But it’s not right when someone wins something that he shouldn’t have won just because of some marketing plan.”
“I think that Messi wasn’t up to standard during the World Cup,” he said.
“He may have scored four goals in the first few games, but I don’t believe he showed he was the best player in the world by the end of the tournament.
“Argentina needed Messi like a fish needs water but he needed to be more involved. We lacked his footballing brain.”
Top footballing brains in the committee include former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, ex-Hibernian boss Mixu Paatelainen, and Gabriel Calderon who played for Argentina at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
Oliseh played for prominent clubs Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus. He won 63 caps for Nigeria, scoring four goals before hanging his international boot in 2002.
The Super Eagles former captain was at the FIFA World Cups of 1994 and 1998, and won Olympic gold in 1996.