My Preferred 23 to Russia 2018: Nigeria

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Stephen Keshi has been my best Nigerian born coach but if I had to make a wish for the Super Eagles now it is not to win the World Cup but to keep the present Technical Adviser Genot Rohr for as long as he breathes. I have seen a different team from the Keshi reign. Kudos to Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick and his team. I also admire the efforts of Pinnick and his guys in getting sponsorship for the execution of the 2018 World Cup.

Now a lot of my friends could have my head for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner after reading this list. They probably would say I have not been an ardent follower of the team so I shouldn’t have an opinion.

Nigeria (Super Eagles):

The Super Eagles have qualified for the World Cup 6 times inclusive of the mundial holding in June, 2018. The first ever appearance was in 1994 which was hosted by U.S.A (my personal favourite tournament till date) and won by Brazil. The 1994 World Cup squad is arguably the best ever Eagles team and that year Nigeria posted its best ever placing on the FIFA ranking which was 5th.

Late Rashidi Yekini remains the all time top scorer of the country with 37 goals and also was the first ever World Cup (U.S.A ’94) scorer for the team bagging the first goal in a 3-0 win over Bulgaria. Joseph Yobo and Vincent Enyeama (both retired) are the most capped players with 101 appearances for the team.

Find my 23 man list below:

Goalkeepers

1. Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimnba)

2. Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United)

3. Francis Uzoho (Deportivo Fabril)

Defenders

4. Shehu Abdullahi (Bursaspor)

5. Leon Balogun (Mainz 05)

6. Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor)

7. Ola Aina (Hull City)

8. Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugges)

9. Brian Idowu (Amker Perm)

10. Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa)

11. Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes)

Midfielders

12. Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda)

13. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)

14. Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor)

15. Joel Obi (Torino)

16. Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas)

17. Mikel Agu (Bursaspor)

18. Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)

19. Victor Moses (Chelsea)

Forwards

20. Kelechi Ihenacho (Leicester City)

21. Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai)

22. Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow)

23. Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars)

 

There you have it, another difficult one, tougher than putting out the French 23 I did earlier. And I will make a case for Junior Lokosa because he has scored 18 goals in 20 games in the Nigerian Professional League (equivalent of the EPL if you asked me).

Have a blissful week.

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