The national team coach has revealed his preliminary squad for the Nations Cup, excluding some famous names and surprised with some invitees
Coach Stephen Keshi has released the 32 players that will battle it out to be named in the 23-man squad that will represent the country at the Africa Cup of Nations Cup (Afcon) in South Africa in January.
Of the 32, 14 are from the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) and will link up with their Europe-based counterparts in Faro, Portugal.
The tournament will kick off on January 19, with the final match scheduled for February 10 and Zambia are the defending champions.
The coach had a meeting with the Nigeria Football Federation (Nff) Technical Committee in Abuja on Friday, where he defended his list of 32 which did not include the likes of Peter Odemwingie, Obafemi Martins and Taye Taiwo but included Danny Shittu and Rabiu Ibrahim of Celtic of Scotland.
Joseph Yobo with 89 national team appearances heads the 32-man list having appeared for the Super Eagles at the 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 Afcon tournaments.
Caf has instructed that all final team lists from the 16 competing nations have until January 9, 2013 to submit their final list of 23 players.
The Super Eagles opened camp with the home-based players last Monday and are scheduled to leave for their Faro camp on December 23.
The team has lined up friendly matches against Catalonia on January 2 and against giant killers, Cape Verde on January 9. Ten Europe-based professionals will be available for the clash against Catalonia while the remaining eight foreign-based stars will join up with the squad on January 4.
The 32-man list
Vincent Enyeama (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheba, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC, Nigeria)
Elderson Echiejile (FC Braga, Portugal); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC, Nigeria); Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce, Turkey); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Danny Shittu (Millwall FC, England); Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands); Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria)
Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Raheem Lawal (Adana Demirspor, Turkey); Obiora Nwankwo (Calcio Padova, Italy); Fegor Ogude (Valerenga FC, Norway); Reuben Gabriel (Kano Pillars, Nigeria); Rabiu Ibrahim (Celtic FC, Scotland)
Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Uche Kalu (Rizespor, Turkey); Bright Dike (Portland Timbers, USA); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle FC, England); Ikechukwu Uche (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria); Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria)