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Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. - Sports (5) - Nairaland

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Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 10:49am On May 29, 2015
ANDERSON ESITI: I’M GRATEFUL TO KESHI, I’LL SEIZE THIS EAGLES OPPORTUNITY.
Could you describe how you felt when the news broke to you that you were called up to the national team for next month’s AFCON qualifiers against Chad and Tanzania?
It’s a feeling that will stay with me for a very long time because it has always been my dream to represent my country at any level. As a player, I nurse such expectation and I’m glad it’s c​o​me on the day I turned​ 21.
Did you ever believe it could come so soon?
Actually, it difficult to answer that because I was doing well and it was only a matter of time before I get that chance. But with the plethora of talents at our disposal, but I never stopped believing.
Not many know how ​your ​football ​career ​began. Could you share with us how it all started?
It started on the streets in Warri. I played for so many teams but I ho​ned​ my football skills with Bobbys United and afterwards I went for trials with the Warri Wolves feeder team and it was there an offer from Leixões came. That was how the story began.
You have​ been in Europe for just three years​,​ don’t you think playing for the Super Eagles will put you under pressure?
I don’t think so because I’m a regular for my team and the wealth of experience I have gained in the Portuguese league will come handy for me. I was one of the standout performers for Leixões last season and that was why I could move to the first division. I was invited to the national U-23 team last year but I couldn't make it due to the tight fixtures my club had then.
Also considering where we occupied on the log then​,​ it was a bit difficult for my team to release me. But now I have the chance. I will seize ​it ​and I am grateful to coach Stephen Keshi who gave me this opportunity to represent my country.
So you think you have enough experience to play at the highest level?
Of course, I do and I hope to learn much more​ when I arrive the national team camp.
You have been linked with summer moves to Sporting Lisbon and Monaco Anderson, could you tell us where your future lies?
I have been linked with great teams but categorically I'd leave my agent to deal with that. He knows what's best for my development. I am aware of the interests particularly from Monaco but my agent will see to that.
​​Estoril Praia finished third in group E behind the winners FC Dinamo Moskva and PSV Eindhoven in the Europa league this out-going season. How painful was it crashing out of the competition?
​Yeah! ​​it was painful because we needed all three points against PSV to stand a chance going into the final game but we drew and that denied us. It was a good experience for me.
This is your first time in the national team​,​ how are you looking forward to your first training session?
I must tell you I can't wait for that because such moments defines you as a player and I will give it my very best to stay.
The AFCON games against Chad and Tanzania don't come easier than this. How do you fancy Nigeria's chances?
Sincerely I don't know much about the team nor their players but I'm confident with the calibre of players in the Nigerian side
​,​ to see off those games. Like the coach said, I have to work hard to stay in his team and I am prepared to do just that. I’m looking forward to winning both games with the Super Eagles.
Which player do you adore most in the team and why?
John Mikel Obi is my favorite player​,​ apologies to all my other teammates. I watched him during the 2013 Nations Cup where we were champions and I think he was outstanding for the team.
Incidentally, you play in the same defensive midfield role with him and he hasn’t been invited for these games. Do you see yourself as his heir in the national team?
It’s so sad he won’t be coming for the game​,​ as I will have loved to play alongside him. As regards being his heir​,​ that’s not for me to judge I just want to give my best to the team. Mikel is a player I will love to learn a couple of things from.
​Okay, your compatriot, Dele Alampasu is currently with the Flying Eagles squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Could you tell us a bit about him?
He’s a good goalkeeper and I wish him the very best in New Zealand. He’s a great guy and I believe he will play a key role in the team’s quest.
www.completesportsnigeria.com/anderson-esiti-im-grateful-to-keshi-ill-seize-this-eagles-opportunity/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 11:07am On May 29, 2015
New Eagle Troost-Ekong To Arrive On Monday.
Dordrecht's Nigerian defender William Troost-Ekong has told completesportsnigeria.com that he will join the Super Eagles campnext Monday.​
Troost-Ekong who is in the frame to make his international debut for Nigeria however refused to speak on invitation to the national team ahead of the June 13 AFCON clash against Chad.
"I will be in camp on Monday," he told Comple tesportsnigeria.com.
The 21-year-old made 22 appearances for Dordrecht who got relegated to the second division in Holland.
Troost-Ekong, who will become a free agent this summer, had earlier received an invitation to Nigeria’s Under-23 training camp last year after committing his international future to the Super Eagles.
Troost-Ekong had earlier told the Dutch media: "I won't be returning to Groningen at the end of my loan and we are looking to see what the best step will be now.
''There's a lot of interest from the UK and some in Holland but I will focus more on that once the season is over.''
www.completesportsnigeria.com/new-eagle-troost-ekong-to-arrive-on-monday/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 11:30am On May 29, 2015
ELAHO: IHEANACHO, AWONIYI RIPE FOR EAGLES.
Former Super Eagles defender, Friday Elaho believes in this interview with BAMIDELE BOLUWAJI, that the duo of Flying Eagles stars Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi have what it takes to be promoted to the senior national team, after the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. The USA ’94 World Cup hero also warns Coach Stephen Keshi to learn from the past and ensure Nigeria qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations.
Having played the game of football to the FIFA World Cup level, how will you assess Nigerian football today?
Yes, I am glad you recognize that, I have experience in the game and I can tell you that what is happening in Nigerian football today is positive, with the organization of the domestic league, though there are some errors present here and there, but you still have to give the FA kudos for what they have been able to do so far.
Coach Stephen Keshi has been re -appointed as the Super Eagles coach, after he failed to qualify Nigeria for the 2015 African Cup of Nations. Do you have confidence in him with regards to the 2017 AFCON?
For me, I want to say that I have confidence in Stephen Keshi having played the game to the highest level in his career, though he failed to qualify Nigeria for the 2015 African Cup of Nations but that does not mean he cannot do it again. Aside playing the game before, he has also won the tournament and now that he is back, I think we have to wait and see what he is going to offer this time around. He needs a second chance to prove what he can do in the team.
Why do you think it is difficult for the coach to produce the kind of team Nigeria had in 1994?
I will say it is a bit difficult for the coach to produce the kind of team we had in 1994
because when you look at the league presently, it is not up to the standard it should be, even though it is a bit average, we need a league where you see real talented players who will be natural like we had then. The situation in the league today is that every player wants to play abroad and so they are not ready to spend some years in the local league like we did, so that they can learn the basics of the game. And if you look at the professional players we have abroad, not all of them are playing regularly and in such a situation, it will be difficult for them to grow in the game. And you must also understand that lots of things have changed and this could make it difficult for any coach, even Keshi to produce that kind of 1994 team.
Nigeria will be playing Chad next month in a 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier and he has called up home based players to start up the camp. To what extent do you think this move will help Keshi to realize the dream of featuring in the edition?
He has taken the right step because it is important for him to win the first match and to me, starting the camp with home based players, is good for what he wants to achieve. This will also allow the players to blend on time and also help the coaches to know the fitness level of each of the players he has in camp. By the time the foreign based players would arrive in camp, he would have known the areas he needs to improve on before the match.
How would you rate Chad and how do you expect the Super Eagles to handle them?
Personally, I will rate Chad as big as Nigeria and other great football nations because football has gone beyond underrating any team. That was the problem the Super Eagles had the other time they failed to qualify for the Nations Cup, but I am sure they have learnt from that and will make necessary corrections when the qualifiers start next month.
Looking at the circumstances surrounding Keshi’s return, don’t you think he could still have problem with the FA in future?
Keshi knew what he went through before he got the job even though he had all the qualifications to be the coach but politics was still involved and I am sure that he would have learnt a lot from that and also learnt how to relate with FA, so that there won’t be any clash between them. He needs to mobilize other coaches in the team to make sure that they come up with sound programmes that will help the team to be strong.
Would you agree with people who are saying the likes of Flying Eagles Taiwo Awoniyi, Kelechi Iheanacho and a few others are too young to play for the Super Eagles?
Not at all, I don’t think so, once a player is good, he is good and you can’t take that away from him. Rooney was 17 years old when he started playing for England and if you remember what Westerhof was doing when he was our coach, you will understand that he gave considerations to the young players and that is why you saw many of them in the national team then.
To be continued......
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 9:53am On May 30, 2015
Udoji Wants to Win Keshi’s Heart.
Enyimba captain, Chinedu Udoji, has said he’s looking to win the heart of Stephen Keshi with his performances and thereby seal a regular place in the Super Eagles side.
The central defender was only recently called to the Super Eagles after years of being one of the best defenders in the domestic league, and he said he’s looking forward to making the best use of the opportunity.
“It feels great being here with the National Team and I would love to continue and I know the only way I can do that is to show the coach my quality.
“I have to keep proving myself in training and show him my ability and I believe if I can do that I will make the team more regularly.
“The other guys are also good and everybody is putting in their best to ensure they catch the attention of the coaches. I also have to do my best and win their hearts in the process,” he said.
The Enyimba skipper also relieves his experience of being in the national camp.
“It’s a good feeling I must confess. The feeling of knowing you’re working to represent your country is great. Of course it’s still the same football, but here I’m serving my country.”
thenationonlineng.net/new/udoji-wants-to-win-keshis-heart/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 10:02am On May 30, 2015
Musa, Ogu Want Super Start Against Chad.
Nigeria stars Ahmed Musa and John Ogu have told AfricanFootball.comthe Super Eagles do not have a choice than to start the AFCON qualifiers with victory over Chad.
They both acknowledged the fact that the fans were disappointed the team failed to qualify for the last edition in 2015.
“It is good to start the qualifiers at home against Chad, we the players have to work very hard to see that we win the game well in other to make our fans happy again,” Ahmed Musa declared.
“We know it is not going to be a victory that will come on a platter of gold because it is Chad as minnows don’t exist again, so we have to be focused and determined to crush them and show that we are the better side.”
In a related vein, Hapoel Be’er Sheva midfielder Ogu said the Eagles can no longer afford any mistakes against Chad in Kaduna on June 13.
“I am looking forward to the game against Chad with great expectation. We make mistake in the past and we must not make any mistake this time around as we did in the last qualifiers,” he told AfricanFootball.com.
“We want to enhance our reputation as the best team in Africa. We are ready for the task.”
thenationonlineng.net/new/musa-ogu-want-super-start-against-chad/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 10:39am On May 30, 2015
Ex-Eagles Stars Urge FG to Save Lagos Stadium.
Nigeria ’80 Africa Cup of Nations winners Segun Odegbami, Christian Chukwu and Adokiye Amiesimaka have expressed their disappointment with the deplorable state of the National Stadium, Lagos, urging the Federal Government to rehabilitate the complex.
The stadium, which was built in 1972, has hosted major competitions such as the 1973 Africa Games, the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations, the 1999 FIFA Under-20 World Cup and the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations.
The stadium has been abandoned for years, with decaying structures and obsolete sports facilities dotting the complex.
Odegbami insists the state of the stadium is a reflection of Nigeria’s attitude towards public facilities.
“It is a shame to the country,” theNews Agency of Nigeriaquoted the former Super Eagles forward as saying during the week.
“I played on that pitch and scored important goals (there). It gave me joy. I was happy playing on it. The feeling alone gives me goose pimples any time I recall my playing days on that pitch.
“I felt elated to play not just because I was a footballer but because I was playing on home soil where the crowd cheered us on.
“I cannot imagine the opposite way we see of it today. It is in a mess, a pitiable situation; it is a shame on the reflection of the country.”
“We can only hope for the right change, the change to restore the stadium back to its glorious days as we enter into a new dispensation,” he added.
Former Nigeria and Enugu Rangers captain Chukwu called for the maintenance of the stadium where he guided the Eagles to the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations glory.
“I am never a happy man anytime I see the extent of the dilapidation of the structures that have been yearning for rehabilitation. It takes me back in time when I recall my playing days on the facility,” the ex-Eagles coach said.
“A stadium we believe brings us good luck each time we play on it. Each time I come out of the tunnel and see the fans chanting my name and those of my teammates, it gave me confidence to go all out.
“I believe I played my best football on that pitch. I am pleading with the Federal Government to give it the deserved attention and restore it to its place of glory to help the growth of sports in the country.”
Ex-Nigeria winger Amiesimaka said, “The stadium is living in its shadows. I never thought it would come to this; the place is just scary place to come to.
“I remember in my time, it was a glorious place to be. I shared many victories on that pitch, notably in 1980 when we won the Nations Cup.
“I am pleading to the National Sports Commission to intervene.”
uncova.com/ex-eagles-stars-urge-fg-to-save-lagos-stadium.
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 7:54am On May 31, 2015
Ahmed Musa’s CSKA clinch Champions League spot
Posted by: Our Reporterin Sports7 hours ago
Ahmed Musa will play in the UEFA Champions League next season after his Russian Premier League club CSKA Moscow sealed the ticket on the last day of the season after they finished runners-up in the league.
The army team drew 1-1 at Rostov to end the season with 60 points from 30 games, same as third-placed Kransnodar, who also drew 1-1 at Dinamo Moscow, but CSKA Moscow have a superior goals difference of +40 to Kransnodar’s +25.
The Jos-born star had earlier told AfricanFootball.com that his club were playing to secure a Champions League spot after they failed to successfully defend their league title.
This season, Ahmed Musa scored 10 goals in the league for CSKA Moscow
thenationonlineng.net/new/ahmed-musas-cska-clinch-champions-league-spot/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 10:00am On Jun 01, 2015
Ahmed Musa to Report Late to Eagles’ Camp.
•CSKA Moscow star wants to sort out personal issues
CSKA Moscow forward, Ahmed Musa will not be reporting to the Super Eagles’ camp on June 3 like other foreign-based players invited for the 2017 African Nations Cup (AFCON) qualifier against Chad.
SportingLifelearnt that coach Stephen Keshi has granted an extended deadline to the pacy Eagles forward to enable him attend to some crucial personal issues.
It was gathered that theBig Bossalso put into consideration the fact that Musa was in the thick of action just last weekend for his Russian Premier League club CSKA Moscow on the last day of the season, where they finished runners-up and picked a Champions League ticket.
The Army Teamdrew 1-1 at Rostov to end the season with 60 points from 30 games, same as third-placed Kransnodar, who also drew 1-1 at Dinamo Moscow, but CSKA Moscow have a superior goals difference of +40 to Kransnodar’s +25.
Keshi had earlier on granted another Eagles star based in China,Aaron Samuel the permission to arrive at the team’s AFCON camp late due to tedious club engagement in the Chinese Super League.
“As earlier stated, all the invited foreign-based players are expected in camp on or before June 3 with the exception of Ahmed Musa,” the Super Eagles’ media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, toldSportingLifein a telephone interview from the national team’s camp in Abuja.
“Last week, the coach granted the request of Aaron Samuel’s club in China for the striker to arrive late to enable him play more games for them at the crucial stages of the Chinese Super League.
“Musa equally appealed to be excused for a few days to sort out pressing personal issues and the coach graciously gave his consent,” the Eagles spokesman stated.
What it means is that Musa, who scored 10 goals in the Russian League for CSKA Moscow in the outgone season, will join the Eagles’ camp after they may have relocated to Kaduna, venue of the match against Chad, on June 13.
thenationonlineng.net/new/ahmed-musa-to-report-late-to-eagles-camp/[/quote]

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 10:04am On Jun 01, 2015
Keshi Ready to Recall Anichebe.
The Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, is ready to recall self-exiled Eagles attacker, Victor Anichebe if the player rescinds his earlier decision not to play for Nigeria.
The West Browmwich Albion forward has been on a self-imposed exile from the Nigerian national team for some time now, even before Keshi took over the handling of the team in November 2011.
The former Everton striker opted out of national team duty for Nigeria, claiming neglect form the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and injuries that also limited his playing period for club and country.
SportingLiferecalls that Anichebe defended his action of opting out of international duties with Nigeria in his message to the international media. “The best thing for me at the moment is to focus on club football.
“I don’t blame anyone for this nor do I have any issues with anybody from the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) or Stephen Keshi, our coach. Without club football there is no international football and everyone at Everton was with me every step of the way during my injuries and rehabilitation and so I owe it to the club to manage myself correctly,” Anichebe was quoted as saying in May 2013.
thenationonlineng.net/new/keshi-ready-to-recall-anichebe/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by iogbaraegbe(m): 10:27am On Jun 01, 2015
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Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 11:28am On Jun 03, 2015
Operation Crush Chad Ogu, Ighalo, Ukoh are Early Birds
John Ogu, Anthony Ukoh and Odion Ighalo were the early arrivals among the foreign based players into the Super Eagles camp on Tuesday.
Confirming this toNationSport, the team’s media officer Toyin Ibitoye said that they were expecting a full house before midnight on Tuesday. According to him, the players who arrived before lunch time on Tuesday were expected to be part of the training session on Wednesday “as we said earlier, the team has changed its training sessions from morning to evening time. This will begin on Wednesday, when we are expected to have all the players in camp. We would not have the routine Media parley today, it would now hold on Friday. By then, our media colleague would have all the players ready to interact with” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Head Coach Stephen Keshi has dropped 16 of the home based players leaving only eight comprising of Daniel Akpeyi, Ekene Ezenwa, Solomon Kwanbe, Gbolahan Salami, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Bright Onyedikachi and Gabriel Ikechukwu. They would be joined by the 15 foreign basedplayers led by Vincent Enyeama, Musa Ahmed, among others.
thenationonlineng.net/new/operation-crush-chad-ogu-ighalo-ukoh-are-early-birds/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 11:31am On Jun 03, 2015
Lille swoops for Omeruo.
Herve Renard’s first major signing as Lille new coach could will be Nigeria defender Kenneth Omeruo, AfricanFootball.comcan exclusively report today.
Sources close to theLigue 1club have informed AfricanFootball.comRenard has swung into action immediately to shore up his new team ahead of the new season by compiling his list of transfer targets.
And one of his top targets is the 21-year-old Omeruo, who has caught the eye of Renard since the AFCON 2013 when the Super Eagles brushed the Frenchman’s Zambia on their way to winning a third continental title.
AfricanFootball.comhas already reported that the Nigerian central defender still does not have a future atStamford Bridgeafter going on loan to first Dutch club ADO Den Haag and most recently Middlesbrough.
“Renard has already made contacts to sign Omeruo and already Lille are in pole position to sign the player,” revealed the source close to the French club.
“But it is not yet known whether this would be a permanent deal or a loan.”
Omeruo’s contract at Chelsea will run out in June 2018.
This past season, Lille, who already have Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, failed to qualify to feature in either the UEFA Champions League or Europa League after they finished a disappointing eighth.
thenationonlineng.net/new/lille-swoops-for-omeruo/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 12:17pm On Jun 03, 2015
Ighalo Undergoes Special Training.
Odion Ighalo is not leaving anything to chance to shine for Nigeria in an AFCON 2017 qualifier against Chad as he is undergoing special personal training ahead of the game.
Ighalo, who recently made his full international debut for Nigeria, has tried to maintain his fitness level after the English Championship season in England ended by undergoing training at FC Manchester ground under the guidance of Nigerian-born FC Manchester coach, Chuks Akuneto.
The Nigerian coach has been working on Ighalo’s speed and fitness to keep him in shape for the task ahead in the Eagles.
Former Flying Eagles skipper Ighalo scored 20 goals in 35 games for Watford in the just-ended season and has made won two caps for the Eagles.
thenationonlineng.net/new/ighalo-undergoes-special-training/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 12:18pm On Jun 03, 2015
Adamu Welcomes Blatter’s Resignation.
Former FIFA executive committee member, Dr. Amos Adamu, has said Sepp Blatter did the right thing to resign as president amidst a corruption scandal rocking the world soccer governing body.
Blatter stepped down on Tuesday four days after winning a record five-year term in the elective congress at FIFA headquarters in Switzerland.
Adamu told supersport.com that the rot in the world football body has reached an alarming height and nobody can successfully cover it.
“It’s the right thing to do as people know what is happening there (at FIFA) is not right.
“Sepp Blatter did the right thing to resign his position as FIFA president in the face of corruption charges among key officials.
“FIFA has been covering a lot of things, I think it has reached the point where you cannot continue to cover it anymore,” Adamu told supersport.com.
“The rot in FIFA is like an overheated or overloaded transformer which is bound to explode.
“I wish him well in his future endeavours either inside or outside football.”
He took time off to chastise the Swiss football administrator for poor handling of the case that saw him being shut out from football for three years.
“Blatter handled my case politically. The poor handling of my case was the beginning of his downfall.
“FIFA claimed that the Nigerian government owed the body a huge sum of money which they are making no move to redeem.
“I was bluntly told that the witch-hunt was not directly at me per se but where I come from (Nigeria).
“Coincidentally, Blatter is out right now and I’m in,” said Adamu in direct reference to a recent CAF appointment into the Africa Cup of Nations Organising Committee through 2015 and 2017.”
Blatter has immediately called for an extraordinary congress to elect his successor.
thenationonlineng.net/new/adamu-welcomes-blatters-resignation/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 12:20pm On Jun 03, 2015
Amos Adamu Named Member Of Afcon Organising Committee.
Former member of the Fifa Executive Committee (ExCo), Dr Amos Adamu, has been appointed member of organising committee for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) by the Confederation of African Football (Caf).
Adamu, a one-time Sole Administrator of the NFA and former director general of the National Sports Commission (NSC), joins current NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, as member of the Afcon organising committee through 2015 and 2017.
This comes on the heels of a three-year Fifa ban on Adamu which expired on 10 October. Adamu was banned after the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa following a petition sent to FIFA by the UK Bid Committee for the 2018 World Cup.
Member of the NFF ExCo and chairman of the NFF Referees Committee, Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, will remain on the Caf Technical and Development Committee, while former NFF 1st Vice President Amanze Uchegbulam keeps his seat on the Appeal Board.
Amos Adamu Said on His Return from a FIFA Ban He Won’t Be Rushing Into Football Administration.
Former Director General of the National Sports Commission, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye is appointed into the Disciplinary Board, and screen diva Aisha Falode retains her place on the Media Committee.
Former NFF Presidents Dominic Oneya, Sani Lulu Abdullahi and Aminu Maigari are on the Interclub Competitions, Club Licensing System and Organising Committee for the African Nations Championship respectively.
www.informationng.com/2015/06/amos-adamu-becomes-member-of-afcon-organising-committee.html

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 12:40pm On Jun 03, 2015
Nigeria: I Want to Keep Proving My Critics Wrong - Onazi.
After scoring the goal that cemented SS Lazio's place in next season's UEFA Champions League, Super Eagles midfielder Ogenyi Eddy Onazi says he has his critics to thank for all he has been able to achieve in his footballing career.
The former El-Kanemi Warriors player netted a stunner on Sunday as the White and Sky Blues defeated SSC Napoli 4-2 to claim the coveted ticket while ruining manager Rafael Benitez' send-forth, considering it was his final game in charge before moving to Real Madrid.
"I want to say a big thank you to my loyal fans who have stood by me all this while(through the hard times) and also a bigger thank you to those who doubt it all because you spur me on to get even better" Onazi wrote on twitter.
The player has indeed ended the season on a high considering he hasn't scored all season but turned up on the last day of the season just a minute after he was introduced into the game.
The Romans finished third on the league table with 69 points from 38 matches to secure a place in the Champions League qualifying round. Onazi was an 84th minute substitute for Danilo Cataldi and he scored in the 85th minute to give Lazio a 3-2 lead.
Coincidentally, the Jos-born star's last goal for Lazio was against Napoli last season in a 4-2 loss at the Naples on April 13, 2014.

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 10:48am On Jun 04, 2015
OPERATION CRUSH CHAD: NFF To Spend N120m.
•Eagles’ pros ask for $8,000 each.
•Glasshouse chiefs alarmed over 15 foreign-based.
Chieftians of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have revealed that the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification game between the country’s senior team, the Super Eagles and their Chadian counterparts would gulp close to N120 million to prosecute.
SportingLifegathered further that each of the 15 foreign-based would be paid $8,000 being the cost of ticket refunds and other logisitics, which drew the angst of the NFF men.
SportingLifescooped that the hierarchy of theGlasshouseare miffed that the coaches could brazenly invite 15 foreign-based players for a game against a lowly-rated Chad rather than prosecute it using majority of the home-based players and not more than four foreign-based players such as Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa et al who distinguished themsleves in the European league this season.
A top NFF chief informedSportingLifethat: “We are stuck with the coaches’ selection becaus it is our first game and we want to approve what they asked for wholesale. But we told them categorically that it amounted to waste of money for NFF to sepnd N120 million for a home game against Chad.
“It would beat hollow to hear what the players who ought to be on vacation now are demanding to play for Nigeria. Indeed, the president was livid over the large number of foreign-based players and told the coaches. In fact, the president was particularly surprised by the fact that the body’s director of technical department didn’t do his job by expunging benchwarmers such as Kenneth Omeruo, Godfrey Oboabona, for instance.
“The president expressed surprised at the inclusion of Vincent Enyeama, following the superb showing of the home-based goalkeepers in the friendly games that the team have played since Enyeama opted out of the South Africa away game due to controversial backache, only to play for his French side in the following weekend.”
thenationonlineng.net/new/operation-crush-chad-nff-to-spend-n120m/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 11:03am On Jun 04, 2015
Keshi Gives Enyeama, Musa Today’s Deadline.
SportingLife has learnt exclusively that the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi has given Eagles Captain, Vincent Enyeama and Ahmed Musa and others up till today to join their colleagues at the Bolton White Apartment Hotel Camp of the team in order to blend with the rest of the team on time for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Chad slated for the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna next week Saturday.
WhenSportingLifevisited the team’s camp yesterday the players were bubbling with excitement as they went for their lunch with the full complement of the technical crew led by the Big Boss.
The players after the lunch went straight into their rooms to rest and none of them was seen loitering around the hotel. The technical crew was the last to leave the dining room after brainstorming as regards the evening training programme.
Among the players that were sighted at the Hotel Camp of the Eagles yesterday afternoon included Watford of England on form striker Odion Ighalo, Lazio of Italy midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, William Troost-Ekong of FC Dordrecht, Kingsley Madu of AS Trencin, Slovakia; John Ogu of Hapoel Be’er Sheva; Babatunde Michael of Volyn Lutsk, Ukraine; Rabiu Ibrahim of AS Trencin, Slovakia; Anderson Esiti, Estoril FC, Portugal; Steven Ukoh Biel-Bienne FC, Switzerland.
thenationonlineng.net/new/keshi-gives-enyeama-musa-todays-deadline/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 11:04am On Jun 04, 2015
Ighalo Eyes Debut Goal for S/Eagles.
Watford striker, Odion Ighalo, has revealed that he feels excited to be back to the Super Eagles fold, after a successful season in England and wants to cap his return with his first international goal.
He further revealed that he has put the disappointment of not living up to the hype against Uganda and south Africa, when he was expected to replicate his club form for the National team.
The Watford striker is one among three foreign based to arrive the Eagles camp.
“To be back in the national team is a great privilege and to cap it with promotion for my club to the Premier League, I’m happy and I thank God for that.
“I’ve put the disappointment of my debut behind me, those games were obviously going to be difficult because we had several new players in camp and trained just once. But it’s no excuse because we did our best, I went back to my club and kept scoring goals.
“Am back now and I hope I’d be able to get my first goal for Nigeria next weekend,” the striker told www.footballlive.ng.
thenationonlineng.net/new/ighalo-eyes-debut-goal-for-seagles/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 11:16am On Jun 04, 2015
Keshi Can’t Afford Mistakes Against Chad – Dosu.
Former Nigeria goalkeeper Joseph Dosu has backed Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi on his choice of players against Chad in the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, insisting that the coach cannot afford to make selection errors in his second coming as manager of the team.
Nigeria play Chad in their first leg fixture on June 13 in Kaduna and Keshi has already settled for the home-based players he will use to prosecute the game, selecting goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa as assistants for Vincent Enyeama.
Keshi’s selection means former second choice goalkeeper, Austin Ejide, has no place in the team, just as Fenerbahce forward Emmanuel Emenike and Chelsea’s Mikel Obi are excluded.
“This is Keshi’s decision and it must be respected. He doesn’t need any advice from anybody because he must have learnt from his mistakes when Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2015 AFCON. He can’t afford to make any mistake this time around,” Dosu told our correspondent on the telephone on Wednesday.
“The choice of Akpeyi and Ezenwa should be commended because they are two of the best we have in our domestic league. Both goalkeepers have been in the junior teams before so they know what it takes to be in the national team.
“Chigozie Agbim, who was the home-based goalkeeper in the team, had his chance but did not use it well.
“We shouldn’t entertain any fear over the goalkeepers; only one can man the post at a time. Besides, we’ve never had goalkeeper problem in Nigeria; we have talents in that department. When Peter Rufai left, Ike Shorunmu was there to fill his shoes; and when Ike left, Enyeama stepped in. Someone will have to step in when Enyeama leaves.”
www.punchng.com/sports/keshi-cant-afford-mistakes-against-chad-dosu/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 11:35am On Jun 04, 2015
Babatunde Michael: Eagles to Start AFCON on High.
Volyn of Ukraine forward Babatunde Michael has said Nigeria’s Super Eagles wish to start their AFCON 2017 qualifying campaign on a high by beating Chad in Kaduna.
Nigeria open their campaign for the AFCON qualifiers on June 13 against Chad.
"There are no minnows anymore in football, so the question of underrating any side does not come in,” he said.
“We are focused to start on a high and that is getting the available three points in our first game."
Ighalo targets first Eagles goal
Babatunde Michael also expressed delight on his return to the national team.
Michael one of the foreign early birds in the Eagles camp told AfricanFootball.com:"I am very happy to be back to the team.
"It was really a difficult time for me after the World Cup going in and out of injuries but now that am back and better, I am ready to give 200% to ensure that we start our campaign on a high."
africanfootball.com//news/536619/Babatunde-Michael-Eagles-to-start-AFCON-on-high
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 11:41am On Jun 04, 2015
EXCLUSIVE: Talks Begin for Mikel to Join Gyan in Dubai.
Talks for Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi to join Ghana skipper Asamoah Gyan at Al Ain in Dubai will begin on Friday, AfricanFootball.com can exclusively reveal today.
AfricanFootball.com was first to report that Mikel is now considering his future away from Stamford Bridge after playing a bit role in the past two seasons with ‘The Blues’.
Mikel representatives will meet with Al Ain officials on Friday to begin negotiations for a possible transfer from the English Premier League for the Nigeria star.
“Mikel’s representatives will begin discussions with Al Ain on Friday in Dubai over a possible transfer,” a source disclosed to only AfricanFootball.com
Mikel to quit Chelsea for Dubai
“The player has sanctioned the meeting and may even be part of it. It is now left to be seen what the club will put on the table for him.”
The Nigeria midfielder, who has been at Chelsea since 2006 and still has a contract with London club Chelsea till June 2017, wants to secure his future financially and so the decision to possibly move to the backwater league in the United Arab Emirates for several millions of petro-dollars.
On Tuesday, Mikel featured for Chelsea when they pipped Sydney 1-0 in a friendly played in Australia.
He played the entire 90 minutes.
africanfootball.com/news/536577/EXCLUSIVE-Talks-begin-for-Mikel-to-join-Gyan-in-Dubai
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 11:44am On Jun 04, 2015
Why I am staying at CSKA Moscow - Ahmed Musa.
Nigeria forward Ahmed Musa has revealed to AfricanFootball.com why he chose to remain with Russian club CSKA Moscow despite interests from top clubs in Europe particularly in the English Premier League.
The Jos-born star said he decided to pen a new deal with the team because they are one of the best in Europe, he is used to the league now and above all he has been accepted in Russia.
"I am happy and excited to sign a new deal with my club, CSKA Moscow. It was true there were interests from elsewhere but I chose to remain here because they are a top team,” he said.
Ahmed Musa extends CSKA contract
“I have adapted well to the league and I have improved with every season. I have good atmosphere here to play under because my teammates, fans, officials and everybody love me dearly at CSKA Moscow, all these were what I considered before I signed the deal."
Ahmed Musa also revealed to AfricanFootball.com his targets for the club.
"I am here to win trophies and score goals, so I am looking forward to score many goals and win more trophies here,” he said.
“I have recorded success in domestic competitions, I hope to taste it in Europe too with CSKA."
africanfootball.com/news/536480/Why-I-am-staying-at-CSKA-Moscow-Ahmed-Musa
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 1:31pm On Jun 05, 2015
Simon Rejects Dortmund, Fenerbahce.
Nigeria international Moses Simon has told africanFootball.com he turned down several European clubs including Borussia Dortmund, Fenerbache and Liverpool in the English Premier League to stay put at Belgian champions Gent.
Simon, who is currently at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand with Nigeria, said he wishes to stay at least another season at Gent before he would decide his next destination.
The player makes history with Belgian champions Gent
“Fenerbache, Dortmund and Liverpool were among the clubs who were interested in signing me, but I wish to stay at least another season at Gent before I decide what is next for me,” he told africanFootball.com.
“I still have three more years left of my contract with Gent, but the league in Germany or England would interest me at some point.”
Simon’s immediate target will be next season’s UEFA Champions League.
“We are all looking forward to featuring in the Champions League after against all odds we won our first Belgian championship in 115 years,” he added.
“It’s a big stage for all of us and we wish to make the most of it.”
The left winger scored seven goals after he joined up with Gent in January. It was a performance that saw him finished as the second best African player in the Belgian top-flight league this past season.
thenationonlineng.net/new/simon-rejects-dortmund-fenerbahce/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 10:17am On Jun 06, 2015
Ahmed Musa Arrives, Trains With Eagles.
Ahmed Musa is the fourteenth foreign – based player to arrive in camp ahead of Nigeria’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Chad next weekend.
The CSKA Moscow striker was given an extra two days by Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi to attend to some personal matters before joining the get – together in Abuja.
A llnigeriasoccer.comunderstands that Guangzhou R&F forward Aaron Samuel was seen yesterday at the airport in China waiting to board an Emirates Airline flight to Nigeria.
All things being equal,the 21 – year – old will be in camp today and begin training with the squad tomorrow.
Aaron Samuel lasted the entire distance in Guangzhou R&F’s goalless draw with Beijing Guoan yesterday.
thenationonlineng.net/new/ahmed-musa-arrives-trains-with-eagles/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 10:20am On Jun 06, 2015
Chad Will Be Tough – Enyeama
Ahead of next week’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier againstLes Sao, Eagles captain and Lille of France goalie, Vincent Enyeama says the match will be an interesting encounter.
Speaking with www.footballlive.ngEnyeama said he believes the Chadians will give the Eagles a run for their money.
Hear him: “It’s going to be an interesting encounter and we’re just looking forward to having a strong opposition because we know they’re going to give us a run for our money; we’re really sure of that.”
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by Orkpekyandega(m): 10:24am On Jun 06, 2015
QPR, Brentford Want Omeruo Loan.
Relegated Queens Park Rangers (QPR) and English Championship side Brentford are among the clubs that are keen to sign Nigeria defender Kenneth Omeruo on loan from Chelsea.
This past season, Omeruo, who is currently with Nigeria for an AFCON 2017 qualifier against Chad, ended another loan spell at English Championship side Middlesbrough.
AfricanFootball.comhas now gathered that QPR, who finished bottom of the English Premier League, and Brentford, who featured in the promotion playoffs in the Championship, are among a slew of clubs who want to have the central defender on loan in the new season.
Brentford lost home and away to Middlesbrough, where Omeruo featured last season on loan, in the promotion playoffs.
However, Omeruo looks more likely to rechart his career path by jumping at an offer to join FrenchLigue 1side Lille.
Lille new coach Herve Renard is a long-term admirer of Omeruo and has already swung into action to sign him.
thenationonlineng.net/new/qpr-brentford-want-omeruo-loan/
Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 6:22am On Jun 08, 2015
Enyeama Donates Match Bonus To Orphanage.

–Musa gives N500,000 to needy in Abuja
Super Eagles captain, Vincent Enyeama has donated his match bonus to an orphanage home, as the team prepares ahead of the June 13 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Chad at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.
On Friday before the Super Eagles training in Abuja, the Lille of France first choice goalkeeper donated his anticipated match bonus against Chad to the children of Divine Wounds Orphanage Home, Kubwa, Abuja. The children were invited to watch the team’s training at the Abuja National Stadium.
Also joining Enyeama to donate to the children in need was CSKA Moscow of Russia striker, Ahmed Musa, who made a N500,000 pledge to the orphanage home.
Complete Sports can also report that the money, according to officials of the Nigeria Football Federation is for the orphanage home to spend in helping the children to acquire education. Aside the money donated to the home, the players also jointly donated food items to the home as a way of giving them sense of belonging in the society.
Reacting after the donation, Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, told Complete Sports that the move shows that the players have not forgotten their fellow Nigerians.
“This is one of the things God loves, giving to the needy. By donating to the orphanage home, it shows that the Super Eagles have not forgotten their fellow Nigerians. I can only pray that God continues to help the players so that they can do more in future. It is a sign of commitment”, he says.

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 6:39am On Jun 08, 2015
Chad Fire Eagles Warning, Beat Guinea 2-1.

Super Eagles AFCON opponents, Chad defeated Guinea 2-1 in an international friendly game on Saturday in Saint-Leu Paris, comple tesportsnigeria.com reports.
Alou Cissé gave the Guinea the lead in the 65th minute before Ezekiel Ndouassel restored parity for the CEMAC Cup champions in the 82nd minute with a glancing header.
However, a stoppage time own goal from the Syli Stars skipper, Florentin Pogba handed Emmanuel Tregoat his first win in 2015 ahead of next Saturday's AFCON qualifier against Nigeria in Kaduna.
Guinea coach, Luis Fernandez said after the game: "I'm happy with the state of mind that I have seen. All players have not yet arrived and I only had three strikers. But that does not matter; the important thing was not there.”
“We had some interesting phases of the game. I also like the atmosphere here; it reminds me of childhood memories. I feel good in this group showed a great attitude." Fernandez told reporters according to Nang-yadji Natabe a Chadian football representative in Paris.
Meanwhile Guinea host Swaziland in Casablanca next Friday.
The match facts
Goals: Guinea: A. Cissé (65th); Chad: Nouassel (82), Pogba (90 + 1e).
GUINEA: Conde – Camara, Zayatte (Guilavogui P., 73), F. Pogba – Fofana (N. Keita, 85th), Landel (Ismaël Bangoura Karba, 58th) – A. Cissé, Lass Bangoura (Baio, 54th), I . Sylla (Ibrahima Sory Bangoura, 58th) – Kamano (S. Keita, 73), Mr. Yattara. Coach: L. Fernandez.
CHAD: Dillah – Madtoingue, Ndoram, Nicaise, Hardun – Azack, Kidigui – Betorangal (Beadoum, 77th), Labbo (Casimir Ninga, 54th), Ndouassel – Mbayam (Djimenan, 71st). Coach: E. Tregoat
www.completesportsnigeria.com/chad-fire-eagles-warning-beat-guinea-2-1/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 8:21am On Jun 08, 2015
Wolves’ Stars Turn to National Duties.

After their exit from the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup, Warri Wolves’ top stars will turn to national team duty ahead of the AFCON 2017 and All African Games qualifiers.
The quartet of goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, right full-back, Solomon Kwambe, central defender and club captain, Azubuike Egwuekwe as well as striker, Gbolahan Salami, return to the Super Eagles’ camp to join their colleagues.
All four players started Saturday’s match against AC Leopards with Salami scoring a brace in the 3-1 victory.
Ironically, Egwuekwe’s clearance from a pull-out went into Akpeyi’s net to earn Leopards the all-important away goal.
The Eaglesplay Chad on Saturday, June 13 as the race for the 2017 Afcon begins, in Kaduna.
Wolves’ third goal scorer, Oghenekaro Etebo and Freeborn Omofoman also return to boost the Samson Siasia-tutored Under-23 side.
Etebo and Omofoman are key players in the Dream Team.
thenationonlineng.net/new/wolves-stars-turn-to-national-duties/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 8:50am On Jun 08, 2015
Mikel may join Gyan at Al Ain.

John Obi Mikel, the Chelsea midfielder, could be on his way to joining Asamoah Gyan at Al Ain next season, according to media reports in the Nigerian’s home country.
The AfricanFootball.com website has claimed Mikel’s representatives were scheduled to open negotiations with Al Ain this weekend for a possible transfer of the Nigerian star to the Arabian Gulf League.
Mikel, 28, has been with the English Premier League giants Chelsea since moving to the London club in 2006 from Norway’s Lyn Fotball and his current contract runs until June, 2017. But AfricanFootball.com claims the Nigeria international “is now considering his future away from Stamford Bridge after playing a bit role in the past two seasons with The Blues”.
“Mikel’s representatives will begin discussions with Al Ain on Friday in Dubai over a possible transfer,” the website quoted a source close to the player as saying. “The player has sanctioned the meeting and may even be part of it. It is now left to be seen what the club will put on the table for him.
thenationonlineng.net/new/mikel-may-join-gyan-at-al-ain/

Re: Super Eagles Of Nigeria Thread: 2017 AFCON Qualifiers. by terzurum5(m): 9:00am On Jun 08, 2015
Obasi opts for Turkey or France.

Chinedu Obasi may well now have to try his luck outside Germany in either Turkey or France after Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 deemed him surplus to requirement.
Obasi looked like staying put in the German Bundesliga on account of the influence of his agents Rogon.
But it now appears he may seek to play at a warmer place than Germany, where he has suffered several major injuries which have been mainly attributed to the cold weather there.
A Germany-based agent told AfricanFootball.com: “Obasi’s injury problems have been due largely to the cold weather in Germany. He now needs to move to a warmer place so as to continue his career.
“Already he has offers from Turkey and France and it is left for him to decide where he wishes to play come next season.”
The 29-year-old forward, who has represented Nigeria at U17, U20, Olympic and full international levels, moved to Germany from Norwegian club Lyn Oslo in 2007.

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