Nigeria has named a powerful squad including 15 foreign-based professionals for its World Cup qualifying match against Namibia in Calabar on Sunday, June 3.
Their 21-year-old winger Victor Moses who plays for Wigan Athletics in the English Premiership, was the first foreign-based player to join the Super Eagles’ training camp, and traveled with the rest of the home-based team to Calabar on Sunday.
Their other foreign based players are due to arrive this week from places as diverse as France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Israel, Norway, Russia and South Africa.
Nigeria’s coach Stephen Keshi dropped five players from the team that lost 1-0 against Peru in a friendly match on May 23. The friendly served as a warmup for Nigeria’s World Cup and Afcon qualifying matches, while it was also a testimonial match for Peru’s most capped player Roberto Palacios.
Paolo Guerrero who plays for Hamburg in the German Bundesliga, scored the only goal of the match nine minutes before the interval.
Nigeria stepped up the tempo in the second stanza, with the introduction of their Europe based players - Ekigho Ehiosun, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Raheem Lawal, Obiora Nwankwo and Gege Soriola - but despite dominating possession, they could not find the net.
The players who were dropped are Ugonna Uzochukwu, Gbolahan Salami, Ossai Uche, Dan Akpeyi and Okeimute Odah.
Nigeria’s home based players who are currently in the camp are: Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwueke, Sunday Mba, Ejike Uzoenyi, Juwon Oshaniwa, Izu Azuka, Godfrey Oboabona, Henry Uche, Kalu Uche, Papa Idris, Gabriel Reuben and Obinna Nwachukwu.
They will be joined by the following foreign based players:
Vincent Enyeama (Lille, France), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Petah Tikva, Israel), Uwa Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal), Efe Ambrose (MS Ashdod, Israel), Sone Aluko (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Fegor Ogude (Vålerenga, Norway), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Victor Moses (Wigan, England), Ikechukwu Uche (Granada, Spain), John Utaka (Montpellier, France), Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan, Italy), Obiora Nwankwo (Inter Milan, Italy), Ekigho Ehiosun (Samsunspor, Turkey), Raheem Lawal (Atletico Belares, Spain) and Gege Soriola (Free State Stars, South Africa).