Coach Gernot Rohr on Tuesday listed midfield enforcer Mikel John Obi, pacy winger Ahmed Musa and defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Abdullahi Shehu in a 25-man squad to prepare for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt this summer. Six other players are on standby.
Mikel Obi, who captained the team at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia last year summer, has not been with the group since Nigeria’s elimination from the finals after a 1-2 defeat by Argentina in Saint Petersburg. However, a recent meeting with Coach Rohr in the United Kingdom sealed his return to the three-time African champions, with the possibility of adding to his 85 international caps.
Rohr has largely kept faith with the Trojans who earned a ticket to the AFCON finals with a match to spare, with goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Leon Balogun and William Ekong, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon also on the roll-call.
He has put on standby six players, among them defenders Ikouwem Utin and Valentine Ozornwafor who have also been named in Nigeria’s final 21 for the FIFA U20 World Cup starting in Poland next week. The Franco-German tactician explained to thenff.com that he has included the two players knowing the FIFA U20 World Cup will end on 15th June, six days before the first match will be played at the AFCON.
2018 FIFA World Cup defender Bryan Idowu is also on standby, alongside Portugal –based Mikel Agu and Egypt –based Junior Ajayi, and home-based goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai.
All invited players and officials are to report at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Asaba on Sunday, 2nd June, ahead of the friendly with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Saturday, 8th June.
The team will depart for Egypt on Sunday, 9th June aboard a chartered aircraft, set up a final training camp in the city of Ismailia and tackle Africa’s number one –ranked team, Senegal in their final pre-AFCON friendly on Sunday, 16th June.
Nigeria confront Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar in that order in Group B of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations taking place in four Egyptian cities 21st June – 19th July.
25 EAGLES FOR AFCON 2019 CAMP
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)
Six On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC)
Ronaldo snubs C. Ronaldo names Messi as number one
Brazil football legend, Delima Ronaldo in a recent statement has snubbed Portugal international, Cristiano Ronaldo as he lists the top five football players he loves watching.
Ronaldo named Argentine star Lionel Messi as his number one while adding that he loves to watch the likes of Mohamed Sallah, Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard and Neymar.
“Messi, of course, he is number one, it is a talent that we will take 20 or 30 years to see something similar.
“I also like Salah, Hazard, Neymar, that I love watching him play, of course Mbappe,” Ronaldo Delima explained according to AS.
The debate between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will continue to go on even after they retire from football.
The two players have won many titles in their careers, however, the World Cup is the only trophy any of them is yet to win.
Tyson may die in the ring against Fury- Dillian Whyte warns WBC president
WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman has warned British professional boxer, Dillian Whyte that former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, may die in the ring.
Sulaiman had publicly backed Tyson’s proposed comeback and even said he would support the 53-year-old making a run for British fighter, Tyson Fury’s heavyweight title belt.
Tyson has been posting training videos recently, with reports suggesting the American could return to the ring in a series of exhibition fights in Australia.
READ ALSO: Ighalo to remain in Man Utd till 2021
But according to Whyte, it is silly for Sulaiman to be encouraging Tyson to challenge the reigning heavyweight champion, Fury.
“It’s silly. If they cannot sanction a fight with me for three years, why the hell are they going to sanction a fight with a 53-year-old man and a 31-year-old man?
“It makes no sense. That is silly. Mauricio and I are cool, but it is a very silly thing to say.
“He should not be encouraging it.
“What if he comes back and dies in the ring? What is going to happen then?
“We have already got enough darkness and enough mud thrown on the sport as it is, we do not need anymore,” Whyte told talkSPORT.
Ighalo to remain in Man Utd till 2021
Nigerian international, Odion Ighalo has secured a move to stay at Manchester United till next year.
Odion Ighalo has “agreed” a loan extension with Manchester United until end of January 2021 with the transfer awaiting FA approval.
The agreement with his parent club Shanghai Shenhua officially expired on Sunday night, and it appeared as though United had failed in a bid to keep the striker at the club.
But according to The Telegraph, both sides have now come to an agreement for the 30-year-old to stay in Manchester until the new year.
The deal is said to be awaiting confirmation with FA for registration.
It is claimed Ighalo will then discuss a new contract with Shanghai Shenhua once he returns in 2021.
The news comes after his agent Atta Aneke confirmed talks were in place for the ex-Watford man to remain at Old Trafford.
Aneke told Nettavisen:
“We are nearing an agreement with Manchester United on an extended loan.
“The agreement will mean that Ighalo will remain with them until January 2021.”
Ighalo swapped the Chinese Super League for the Premier League in a shock deadline day loan deal back in January.
And it is understood Ighalo took a 40 per cent pay-cut on his £300,000-a-week wages in China to make his dream switch happen.
He scored four goals in eight games before the season was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic – leaving his loan contract to the run-up.
The Nigerian made a personal plea to Shanghai Shenhua to let him finish the season at Old Trafford, before returning to China, and it appears his wishes have been met.
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