By John Egbokhan
The mad rush for a dream berth in the Super Eagles 23-man squad to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa hit the ascendancy note, late Tuesday night as strikers, Obafemi Martins and Yakubu Aiyegbeni arrived Lagos, ahead of the May 16 planned meeting and training session with Coach Lars Lagerback.
Martins, was the first player to hit town, in obvious readiness for the scheduled training session and meeting slated for Abuja. Martinsâ€™ arrival is certainly going to catch the fancy of Lagerback, who is a stickler for punctuality. Having scored 16 goals in 21 caps for Nigeria, Martins, on his day, is an ideal top striker.
After being included in Lagerbackâ€™s preliminary 30-man Mundial list released Monday, Martins, who at the weekend, finished playing for one season in the German Bundesliga, is seriously angling for a place in the final list, whose identity would become clearer after the team would have had their first training and warm-up matches under the tutelage of the 62 year-old Swede tactician, who masterminded Nigeriaâ€™s fall at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
On his part, Aiyegbeni, also entered the shores of Nigeria late Tuesday night from his England base and subsequently disappeared away from theÂ eyes of stalkers at theÂ International Airport.
After having a somewhat indifferent season with Everton and a rather jaded outing at the last Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, Yakubu would be hoping to make amends for all these as he scrambles for a bite of the World Cup cake when Lagerback unveils the final team.
Both players are expected to hit Abuja this Friday, in readiness for the opening of the camp site where the meeting with Lagerback and other details would be addressed. Other invitees are also being expected to hit Nigeria today.