EXCLUSIVE: Nigeria Coach Shuaibu Amodu Tips Rabiu Ibrahim For Glory

Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu explained that he plans to call up the promising midfielder after the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt...
Sporting Lisbon youngster Rabiu Ibrahim will get a chance to stake a claim for a place in the senior national team immediately after the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in October, coach Shuaibu Amodu has informed Goal.com

"Rabiu is top on my list of players I want in my squad soon. He's a great Super Eagles prospect, a brilliant player, who has been playing at a very high level," Amodu said.

"He is a genuine playmaker, who with the right encouragement can reach the heights of top stars like [Lionel] Messi.

"But at the moment, I want him to fully concentrate with the Under-20s, and after their World Cup, he will be very much part of my plans."

There has been a clamour for a traditional playmaker in the Eagles, so much so that there have been suggestions that former Bolton Wanderers ace Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha should come out of retirement to fill the void created by his loss.

Former Olympique de Marseille player Wilson Oruma has also been linked with a comeback for the Super Eagles as Nigeria shop for a creative player in the middle of the park.

"We have to move ahead and that is why players like Rabiu, Michael Tukura and several other budding talents will be part of my plans. I wish to inject new blood so as to re-challenge the players in the present squad because we are building a team that we believe will outlive us," said Amodu.
 
After inspiring the Under-17s to World Cup glory two years ago, Rabiu Ibrahim was promptly called up by the senior national team prior to the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana. However, an injury denied him a chance to stake his claim for a place in the squad, allowing his Eaglets team-mates Lukman Haruna and Kingsley Udoh to do so.

Tukura, meanwhile, is wanted by a host of top European clubs, including Belgian champions Standard Liege, after a season in Israel.

Samm Audu, Goal.com