You might not be aware of this, but the battle for the 2018 World Cup has begun. The first battle cry is being sound as you read this – and we’re talking about names of players that will make up each country’s squad. Argentina, Portugal, Denmark, Germany and others have all released theirs – and Nigeria has followed suit with a provisional list that brags 30 strong players from within and outside the country.
The list was put together by Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr and it has our main man, John Obi Mikel as the captain of the team. Rohr also included Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and Ahmed Musa who were instrumental in the country qualifying for the World Cup in the first place.
Wilfred Ndidi is quite lucky to be included considering his recent hamstring injury episode. It’s not surprising that Kelechi Iheanacho and Moses Simon are also on the list – but, honestly, who on earth are Simeon Nwankwo and Junior Lokosa?
If Rohr was looking to give us a shock with these names that have never appeared on the Super Eagles team, he certainly had us right there.
However judging from their records, these newbies look promising. Nwankwo currently plays for Crotone in the Italian Serie A. Since joining the club in 2016, the six-foot-six 26-year-old has scored 10 goals in 43 appearances. Lokosa, on the other hand, plays for Kano Pillars in the Nigeria Professional Football League. With 18 goals to his name, he’s currently this season’s leading goal-scorer in the league.
Of course, Rohr can’t possibly take 30 players to Russia. He needs just 23 men who will feature in the tournament. So, this is a longlist of a sort and we’ll be expecting the final 23-man list in June. The question now is, who will make the final list?
See the rest of the players below: