SUPER Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has finally come to terms with the fact that skipper Ahmed Musa may be past his best as he excluded him from a list of 22 home-based players called up for a July 3 friendly against Mexico.
Next month, Nigeria will face Mexico at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California in the US but the Super Eagles squad will not include European-based professionals. Mr Rohr has submitted a list of 22 invitees to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) that includes veteran goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa of Heartlands of Owerri.
Musa, 28, who now plays in the local Nigerian league with Kano Pillars, has 98 caps but is considered way past his best. However, despite Musa’s poor form, Mr Rohr keeps inviting him to camp and playing him, attracting widespread criticism as the use of out-of-form players has led to dismal results.
It now appears that Mr Rohr has accepted that Musa’s days with the Eagles are over and has opted for younger players to prosecute the Mexico friendly. Only Ezenwa, who was last called up for Nigeria in October 2019 ahead of a friendly with Brazil that ended 1-1, is the old face in the squad.
Due to the fact that European clubs will be involved in pre-season training, the Mexico friendly will be prosecuted by Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) players. All the invited players are expected to report at the Serob Legacy Hotel in Abuja on Tuesday, June 22.
NFF Fifa match agent Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport, said: “We are happy to be able to announce this match, which is a clash between two very big teams from two different continents. Mexico against Nigeria is a big match any day and the venue is class.”
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); John Noble (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: Olisa Ndah (Akwa United); Adekunle Adeleke (Abia Warriors); Tope Olusesi (Rangers International); Ifeanyi Anaemena (Rivers United); Christopher Nwaeze (Kwara United); Enyinnaya Kazie (Rivers United); Mohammed Zirkiflu (Plateau United); Imoh Ubot (Enyimba FC); Tebo Franklin Degaulle (Nasarawa United); Lawal Oriyomi Murtala (Kwara United)
Midfielders: Anthony Shimaga (Rangers International); Seth Mayi (Akwa United); Uche Nwasonaya (Plateau United); Samuel Nnoshiri (Katsina United); Ekundayo Ojo (Enyimba FC)
Forwards: Anayo Iwuala (Enyimba FC); Stephen Jude (Kwara United); Ibrahim Olawoyin (Rangers International); Charles Ashimene (Akwa United); Chinonso Ezekwe (Rangers International); Auwalu Ali Malam (Kano Pillars); Neurot Emmanuel (Plateau United); Abdulmutalif Sanusi (Katsina United)