Nigeria unveil squad for AFCON quest in Cote d’Ivoire, eyes set on fourth title


Nigeria, a three-time Africa Cup of Nations champion, has finalized its 25-player squad under the strategic guidance of Head Coach Jose Peseiro, aiming for a fourth continental title. The selected roster includes three goalkeepers, nine defenders, five midfielders, and eight forwards, featuring the return of Captain Ahmed Musa.

Stanley Nwabili, based in South Africa, joins Francis Uzoho and Olorunleke Ojo as the chosen goalkeepers. Notably, 2009 U17 World Cup star Kenneth Omeruo leads the defensive lineup alongside stalwarts like William Ekong, Olaoluwa Aina, and others.

Wilfred Ndidi, returning after missing World Cup qualifying matches, is expected to bolster the midfield alongside Alex Iwobi, Raphael Onyedika, Joe Ayodele-Aribo, and Frank Onyeka. Ahmed Musa, Nigeria’s record goalscorer at FIFA World Cup finals, leads a potent forward-line including Africa Player of the Year Victor Osimhen and other dynamic talents.

The team will embark on a one-week training camp in Abu Dhabi, starting January 2nd, before heading to Cote d’Ivoire. Their AFCON campaign kicks off against Equatorial Guinea on January 14th, followed by matches against the host nation on January 18th and Guinea Bissau on January 22nd.

Having triumphed as hosts in 1980, in Tunisia in 1994, and in South Africa in 2013, Nigeria aims to secure another title. Notably, in 1984 when Cote d’Ivoire hosted, a young Nigerian squad led by Stephen Keshi reached the final, facing a memorable defeat against the experienced Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

Nigeria Afcon squad:

Goalkeepers:
– Stanley Nwabili (Chippa United, South Africa)
– Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus)
– Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC)

Defenders:
– Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England)
– Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal)
– Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)
– William Troost-Ekong (PAOK Salonika, Greece)
– Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal)
– Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey)
– Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England)
– Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England)
– Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)

Midfielders:
– Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England)
– Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium)
– Joe Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England)
– Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)
– Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England)

Forwards
– Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor K, Turkey)
– Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC, Italy)
– Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)
– Sadiq Umar (Real Sociedad, Spain)
– Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France)
– Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy)
– Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy)
– Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

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