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The Chelsea midfielder will make a return to the national team after a prolonged absence as they welcome the Lone Stars for a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in October

John Obi Mikel has staged a dramatic but much expected return to the Super Eagles squad as Coach Stephen Keshi named him among the 15 foreign-based players that would confront the Lone Stars of Liberia in the last leg of the 2013 Africa Nations Cup qualifier slated for Calabar on October 13.

Keshi told that he spoke with the Chelsea midfielder before finally including him on the list

"Mikel Obi and I spoke two or three days ago so all the noise about Mikel, Osaze did this or that is unfounded," Keshi told

"I spoke with Mikel three days ago and he told me he wants to play and he is ready to play for his country. We just hope that he plays his best for the country in the match against Liberia.

"We are targeting victory and by the special grace of God we will qualify for the Nations Cup. Nigeria deserves to be in South Africa.  

The invited 23 home-based players would resume camp on Sunday, September 30 while the invited 15 foreign-based players would hit the Abuja camp on 8th October. The main squad will move to Calabar a day after the foreign-based players have resumed

Keshi has also recalled Inter's Joel Obi who had been out of the squad due to injury. Making a debut in the senior team is Lazio's Ogenyi Onazi, a former Golden Eaglet.

Foreign based players list:

Enyeama Vincent and Ejide Austin

Joseph Yobo, Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echiejile

Nosa Igiebor, Obiora Nwankwo, Mikel Obi, Joel Obi, Victor Moses

Ahmed Musa, Ikechukwu Uche, Emmanuel Emenike, Brown Ideye, Onazi Ogenyi.

Home-based players list:


Agbim Chigozie  - Warri Wolves

Akpeyi Daniel   - Heartland


Egwuekwe Azubuike  - Warri Wolves

Papa Idris  - Kano Pillars

Oboabona Godfrey  - Sunshine Stars

Zango Umar   - Kano Pillars

Kwambe Solomon   - Sunshine Stars

Ezekiel Bassey  -  Lobi Stars

Kingsley Udoh  -  Heartland

Midfielders and Forwards

Uzoenyi Ejike  - Rangers

Mba Sunday  - Warri Wolves

Gabriel Reuben  - Kano Pillars

Henry Uche  - Enyimba

Christian Ofili  - ABS

Jabason Solomon  - Akwa United

Sanusi Sani  - Gombe United

Philip Asuquo – 3SC

Izu Azuka  -  Sunshine Stars

Brendan Ogbu - Heartland

Anthony Okpotu   - Lobi Stars

Ubale Manir - Kano Pillars

Ohanduku Gomo  - Sharks

Fidelis Favour - Nassarawa United