Super Eagles Announce 23-Man Squad for WC Qualifiers Against South Africa and Benin Republic

by Hashim
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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has unveiled a 23-man squad for the upcoming crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic, MySportDab Reports.

The Super Eagles, currently third in Group C with only two points from two games, are under pressure to secure victories to keep their World Cup dreams alive. The prestigious tournament will be co-hosted by Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

Coach Finidi George has shown faith in most of the players who represented Nigeria at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), where the Super Eagles finished as runners-up to hosts Cote d’Ivoire.

Highlighting the squad is Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman, who recently scored a hat-trick to lead his team to victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League final.

Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi makes a return to the squad, while Nigeria Professional Football League standout Sadiq Ismael from Remo Stars earns his first call-up thanks to his impressive domestic performances.

Leading the attack will be Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Bayer Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella, Kelechi Iheanacho, AC Milan’s Samuel Chukwueze, and Terem Moffi from Ligue 1’s OGC Nice.

Notable absentees include AFCON 2023 Most Valuable Player William Troost-Ekong, captain Ahmed Musa, goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defender Kenneth Omeruo, and England-based Joe Aribo.

Expressing optimism about his team’s prospects, Coach George emphasized the strong form of his Europe-based players. “We know it’s a difficult game. We played against South Africa in the concluded AFCON and we know their capacity. Most of their players play domestically in South Africa, but if our players give 100 percent as they do in Europe, we should have no problems winning,” George stated. “I believe in the form our players are showing in Europe. We just need a bit of luck.”

The Super Eagles will face South Africa on June 7 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium before traveling to Abidjan to meet Benin Republic at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny on June 10.

Having missed out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after a playoff loss to Ghana, Nigeria aims to secure a spot in the 2026 tournament. The Super Eagles last qualified for the World Cup in 2018 in Russia, where they exited at the group stage.

Full Nigeria Squad

-Stanley Nwabali (Chippa United, South Africa)
– Maduka Okoye (Udinese FC, Italy)
– Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC)

– Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal)
– Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)
– Sadiq Ismael (Remo Stars FC)
– Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England)
– Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England)
– Benjamin Tanimu (Ihefu SC, Tanzania)

– Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England)
– Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium)
– Alhassan Yusuf Abdullahi (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium)
– Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)
– Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England)
– Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (Hatayspor, Turkey)

– Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)
– Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy)
– Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)
– Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy)
– Paul Onuachu (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey)
– Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy)
– Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)
– Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France)

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