OFFICIAL: Osimhen, Musa, headline Nigeria's 25-man squad for AFCON 2023

OFFICIAL: Osimhen, Musa, headline Nigeria's 25-man squad for AFCON 2023

  • In their pursuit of a fourth Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title, three-time champions, Nigeria, have finalized a squad of 25 players, announced by head coach, Jose Peseiro.
  • The roster comprises of three goalkeepers, nine defenders, five midfielders, and eight forwards.

Captain, Ahmed Musa makes a return to the squad, having been omitted from the starting games in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification series.

The goalkeeping trio features South Africa-based Stanley Nwabali alongside Francis Uzoho and Olorunleke Ojo.

Leading the defensive lineup is Kenneth Omeruo, a standout from the 2009 U17 World Cup, and the only survivor, aside from captain Musa, from Nigeria’s 2013 squad that clinched continental victory in South Africa.

He is joined by William Troost-Ekong, Olaoluwa Aina, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, Calvin Bassey, Zaidu Sanusi, Chidozie Awaziem, Bright Osayi-Samuel, and Bruno Onyemaechi.

Wilfred Ndidi, absent from the World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe, returns to fortify the midfield alongside Alex Iwobi, Raphael Onyedika, Joe Ayodele-Aribo, and Frank Onyeka.

Ahmed Musa, Nigeria’s record goalscorer in the FIFA World Cup finals, heads the forward-line alongside 2023 African Player of the Year, Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Boniface, Sadiq Umar, and Ademola Lookman.

All 25 players are set to depart from their respective bases on Tuesday, 2nd January, converging in Abu Dhabi for a week-long training camp until Tuesday, 9th January. The team will then return to Lagos before flying to Abidjan on Wednesday, 10th January.

The Super Eagles, aiming for a fourth continental title, kick off their Group A campaign against Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, 14th January, followed by matches against host nation, Cote d’Ivoire (18th January) and Guinea Bissau (22nd January).

Nigeria, participating in the Africa Cup of Nations for the 20th time, secured championship victories as hosts in 1980, in Tunisia in 1994, and in South Africa in 2013.

Interestingly, when Cote d’Ivoire hosted the AFCON finals in 1984, a young Nigerian squad, led by Stephen Keshi, reached the Final, ultimately falling to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan.

List of Invited Players:

Goalkeepers:

Stanley Nwabili (Chippa United, South Africa)
Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus)
Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC)

Defenders:

Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England)
Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal)
Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)
William Troost-Ekong (PAOK Salonika, Greece)
Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal)
Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey)
Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England)
Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England)
Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)

Midfielders:

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England)
Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium)
Joe Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England)
Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)
Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England)

Forwards:

Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor K, Turkey)
Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC, Italy)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)
Sadiq Umar (Real Sociedad, Spain)
Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France)
Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy)
Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy)
Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

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