Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has named his provisional 30-man squad for next month’s World Cup, with skipper Joseph Yobo making a return for the first time since February 2013.
Also back is in-form Stoke City of England striker Osaze Odemwingie who returns after two years following the resolution of a disagreement with Keshi.
There was however no place for out-of-favour stars like Ike Uche of Villarreal in Spain, MLS star Obafemi Martins and Bursaspor of Turkey left-back Taye Taiwo.
Resurgent Schalke winger Chinedu Obasi who has managed a consistent run with the Germans since his return from long-term injury late last year was not listed.
Surprise inclusions were Parma midfielder Joel Obi and Heerenveen striker Uche Nwofor who have had little or no game time at their clubs in recent months.
An injury-plague season has seen the talented Obi make just seven appearances in Serie A, with a total of 166 minutes of football. On his part Nwofor has managed just 49 minutes of action all season for Heerenveen who finished fifth in the Dutch top-flight this campaign.
Also included is Real Betis midfielder Nosa Igiebor, another who has struggled with injuries lately. The 23-year-old is currently nursing a knee injury.
The list which was released today in Abuja on Tuesday largely kept faith with the bulk of Keshi’s AFCON-winning side of 2013.
Keshi had earlier revealed that the squad was entirely drawn up by him and his assistants, insisting that the Nigeria Football Federation did not interfere with his choices.
“The NFF is our parent body and should be concerned about team composition for the World Cup, because the body is made up of well-meaning Nigerians, but to be honest to Nigerians nobody in the NFF has come to me to say pick player A or B. They respect my job as the Head Coach and I respect them as my employers and there is no clash of interest,” the former Super Eagles captain said.
The Big Boss pleaded with Nigerians to trust him and his technical crew not to fail them in Brazil.
“All Nigerians are entitled to suggest whoever they think should be in the team but all of them must also respect the fact that I and my assistants have the final say and we will not fail Nigerians in this onerous duty.”
Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim, Daniel Akpeyi
Elderson Echiejile, Juwon Oshaniwa, Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Joseph Yobo, Kunle Odunlami
John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ramon Azeez, Ejike Uzoenyi, Sunday Mba, Gabriel Rueben, Nosa Igiebor, Joel Obi, Michael Uchebo
Ahmed Musa, Shola Ameobi, Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike, Obinna Nsofor, Osaze Odemwingie, Michael Babatunde, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Nwofor Uche
by: Gary Al-Smith/Citifmonline.com/Ghana