Peseiro names 25 players as Super Eagles seek fourth AFCON title in Cote d’Ivoire

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Three-time champions Nigeria have picked a team of 25 players for their onslaught for a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title, with Head Coach Jose Peseiro settling for usual suspects in a roster that has three goalkeepers, nine defenders, five midfielders and eight forwards.

Captain Ahmed Musa returns to the squad after he was left out of the starting games to the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification series, while South Africa-based goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili is picked alongside Francis Uzoho and Olorunleke Ojo.

2009 U17 World Cup star Kenneth Omeruo (the only other candidate in the team apart from Musa who was in Nigeria’s 2013 squad that triumphed in South Africa) leads the defenceline alongside William Ekong, as well as Olaoluwa Aina, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, Calvin Bassey, Zaidu Sanusi, Chidozie Awaziem, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Bruno Onyemaechi.

Wilfred Ndidi is also back in the roost after missing the World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe, and will be expected to adequately feed the strike-force alongside Alex Iwobi, Raphael Onyedika, Joe Ayodele-Aribo and Frank Onyeka.

Musa, Nigeria’s record goalscorer at the FIFA World Cup finals with a brace each in Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018, is in the forward-line alongside Africa Player of the Year Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Boniface, Sadiq Umar and Ademola Lookman.

All the 25 players will depart from their different bases on Tuesday, 2nd January to fly into Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, for a one-week training camp that will last until Tuesday, 9th January. The team will fly back to Lagos on Tuesday 9th January, and then fly into the Ivorian capital, Abidjan on Wednesday, 10th January.

The Super Eagles, in their quest for a fourth continental title, will take on Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, 14th January in their first match of Group A, before further clashes with host nation Cote d’Ivoire (18th January) and Guinea Bissau (22nd January).

Nigeria, who will be participating in the Africa Cup of Nations for the 20th time, were champions as hosts in 1980, triumphant in Tunisia in 1994 and crowned winners in South Africa in 2013.

When Cote d’Ivoire hosted the finals in 1984, a young Nigerian squad led by the inimitable Stephen Keshi went all the way to the Final, before losing to much-experienced Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in a memorable Final at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

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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