Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, has invited 20 players to the Super Eagles’ camp ahead of the high-profile international friendly against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Durban on August 14.
The annual Mandela Challenge contest at the Moses Mabhida Stadium is in honour of ailing former South African President, Dr. Nelson Mandela, one of the world’s greatest statesmen.
Russia-based Emmanuel Emenike, top scorer at the 29th Africa Cup of Nations that Nigeria won in South Africa earlier in the year, returns to the squad for the first time since that feat, and there is also room for Newcastle United FC’s Shola Ameobi, who recently again made himself available for Nigeria.
Nimble-footed Chelsea FC ace Victor Moses is also back and while goalkeeper and skipper Vincent Enyeama is left out, sharp-shooting Obinna Nsofor returns after nearly two years in the international wilderness.
Former junior international forward Uche Nwofor, of VVV Venlo in the Netherlands, is a surprise invitee in a list dominated by the squad that represented Nigeria at last month’s FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil.
Coach Keshi has placed three home boys – defenders Benjamin Francis and Solomon Kwambe and striker Muhammad Gambo – and little known Norway-based Samuel Aaron on standby.
Goalkeepers: Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISR), Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea/ENG), Efe Ambrose (Celtic/SCO), Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga/POR)
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Chelsea/ENG), Fegor Ogude (Valerenga FC/NOR), Victor Moses (Chelsea/ENG), John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra/POR), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio/ITA), Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan/ITA), Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United/ENG), Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow/RUS), Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Uche Nwofor (VVV Venlo/NED)
Standby: Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars), Benjamin Francis (Heartland), Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars), Samuel Aaron