Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi has revealed that he already knows the 23 man squad that will be accompanying to the world cup in Brazil scheduled to start in less than 2 weeks.
According to Channels TV, Keshi intends to take full advantage of the June 2nd deadline imposed by football world governing body FIFA for submission of final lists before he revealing the ‘chosen ones’.
This is according to the team’s press officer who quoted the coach saying, “I have an idea of those who will go with us to Brazil but we will still wait till the last-minute before we announce the list.”
The the source reports would enable the team carry out needed checks and balances to ensure that only the best and the fittest players represent Nigeria in the tournament.
The Nigerian Super Eagles are currently training in the US and are said to be in great shape after their pre World Cup friendly against Scotland last Wednesday at Craven Cottage where they drew 2-2.
[Scroll down for full gallery of Nigeria V Scotland Match]
A provisional 30 man squad including Peter Odemwingie, Joseph Yobo and Chelsea’s Mikel Obi was announced last week with a view to cutting the number down to 23 by Monday.
Odemwingie who seems to have settled scores with the coach spoke to the UK Guardian recently about what it means to be back in the Nigerian national team.
He tells the Guardian’s Stuart James that he has always been a fan of the Nigerian national team since he was a little boy, wearing the country’s full kit to show his support.
He also admits that he regrets having been absent from the Super Eagles team as he’s become a better player since his hiatus and wishes that he could have contributed his skills to the team’s progress.
“In the past few years my only regret is that, as I’ve become a better player, I probably would have got more goals for myself and the country but I missed out a bit. I’ve missed a year and a half, missed out on the cup they won, unfortunately. I wish I was part of that squad because I’ve played in four Africa Nations and got three bronze medals, never a gold. But I can’t look back. This is another opportunity for me.”
The Stoke City player fell out with then new coach Stephen Keshi after being substituted early during a match with Rwanda in 2012…a move the international player wasn’t used to or happy with.
“Coach Keshi took over and in the first game I was subbed quite early, which I’ve never been used to because I always played 90 minutes, both for club and national team. So I felt: ‘OK, he’s probably not sure about me.’
The 33-year-old player however admits that in hindsight, he may have overreacted and that being a father and a husband has made him a lot calmer and more objective.
He also vowed to put his best efforts into every game whether he plays full-time or not adding that he’s glad he’s been given a second chance.
The World Cup starts in Brazil on the 12th of June until the 13th of July and will be closely watched by millions of passionate fans in Nigeria.