Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr has named a 30-man provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The list is made up of four goalkeepers, 10 defenders, eight midfielders and eight forwards.
Headlining the invitees are captain Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Odion Ighalo, William Ekong and Leon Balogun.
Others are John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Francis Uzoho.
NPFL leading scorer, Junior Lokosa and Crotone striker Simy Nwankwo have also received first-time call-ups.
See full list below:
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye, Daniel Akpeyi, and Francis Uzoho
Defenders: William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Chidozie Awaziem, Stephen Eze, Bryan Idowu, Olaoluwa Aina, Kenneth Omeruo, Elderson Echiiejile, Tyronne Ebuehi, and Abdullahi Shehu
Midfielders: Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Joel Obi, Mikel Agu, Oghenekaro Etebo, and Uche Agbo
Forwards: Odion Ighalo, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Simeon Nwankwo, and Junior Lokosa.
This list comes on the same day the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick admitted to being under pressure by agents to include the names of some players.
The NFF boss, who disclosed this when he made an appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, however, maintained that the Super Eagles German Coach, Mr Gernot Rohr, was in a better position to determine who would represent the country at the competition.
The list has been greeted with lots of mixed reactions from both footballers and their fans.
Punch Newspaper reports that while former Super Eagles fringe goalkeeper Segun Oguns faulted the inclusion of “too many Turkey-based players”, ex-Flying Eagles defender Kayode Julius backed Rohr, saying he picked the players he felt would give him the right results in Russia.
Oguns stated, “That list has too many Turkey-based players; some of them are not even regulars in their clubs. Why would players like Brown Ideye and Efe Ambrose, who have been playing regularly in La Liga and Scotland, be omitted from the team?”
Sunshine Stars assistant coach Kayode said, “I can’t criticise the coach because every coach has their philosophy. Rohr knows what he needs and I think he picked the players he feels can fit into his philosophy; all we need is to wish him well.”
Football fan Fred Oboh is delighted with the inclusion of domestic league top scorer Lokosa, though he’s lost over the exclusion of Malaga striker Brown Ideye.
“The list is okay, though they are still going to pick the final 23-man squad from it. It’s very good they included Lokosa, who has scored 18 goals in the ongoing Nigerian league season but I’m a little bit surprised that Ideye is not on the list,” Oboh said.
The Super Eagles are in Group D of the World Cup alongside two-time winners Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.