Maduka Okoye delighted with Super Eagles call-up for 2026 World Cup qualifiers

Maduka Okoye delighted with Super Eagles call-up for 2026 World Cup qualifiers

  • Udinese Calcio goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye has expressed his joy at being recalled to the Nigerian national team for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Okoye has been included in the 23-man squad named by coach Finidi George to face South Africa and the Benin Republic next month.

This is Okoye's first call-up since October, when he was invited for friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique. He did not feature in any of those games and has not played for Nigeria since the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

However, the 24-year-old's impressive season with Udinese, where he played a key role in securing the club's Serie A status, has earned him this recall.

He appeared in 22 games across all competitions, the most since the 2021/2022 season, and kept five clean sheets.

Speaking after Udinese's recent victory over Frosinone, Okoye shared his excitement. "I am very happy to return to the national team. It is a great honour for me and my family to play for Nigeria," he told Udinese's official website.

Despite not having played for Nigeria since a mistake in the 2021 AFCON round of 16 against Tunisia, Okoye has been part of the matchday squad three times since.

Chippa United shot-stopper, Stanley Nwabali has been Nigeria's number-one goalie since the 2023 AFCON, where the Super Eagles finished as runners-up.

Nwabali is likely to continue in that role despite the return of Okoye to the national fold. 

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