With a firm accent on current form and ability, Head Coach Sunday Oliseh has invited 23 players, including USA –based Obafemi Martins and six home –based professionals, for the Super Eagles’ 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture against Swaziland.
The two –legged fixture will take place over four days next month, with the first leg in Lobamba on Friday, November 13 and the return leg at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, November 17.
Martins, who has not featured for the Super Eagles in two years, has been in great form in the Major League Soccer, and his invitation shows clearly that FIFA Technical Study Group member Oliseh has an open mind to all Nigerian players across the globe.
The invitation is also a sweet birthday present to Martins, who celebrated his big day on Wednesday. He scored for Nigeria on his debut in a friendly match against Republic of Ireland in London in May 2005.
Six home –based professionals, who all played notable roles in Nigeria’s qualification for the 4th African Nations Championship at the expense of Burkina Faso, are in the 23 –man mix.
Chelsea of England midfielder John Mikel Obi, Portugal –based former junior internationals Dele Alampasu and Abdullahi Shehu and Arsenal FC’s Alex Iwobi are also invited, as well as former junior international defender Wilfred Ndidi.
Oliseh has directed that all the players arrive at the Bolton White Apartments, Abuja on Sunday, November 8 as training commences same day by 7pm.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Dele Alampasu (Club de Sportivo Feirense, Portugal)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Kalu Orji (Enugu Rangers FC); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France); Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz, Germany); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Austin Oboroakpo (Abia Warriors)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Paul Onobi (Sunshine Stars); John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Rabiu Ibrahim (AS Trencin, Slovakia); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Sylvester Igbonu (FC UFA, Russia)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Ezekiel Bassey (Enyimba FC); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders, USA)