2026 World Cup Qualifiers: Finidi names Osimhen, Lookman & 21 others for South Africa and Benin clashes

AFCON 2023: Why South Africa game is Peseiro’s biggest test as Nigeria coach

Super Eagles head coach, Finidi George, on Friday, announced his 23-man star-studded list for Nigeria’s upcoming matches against South Africa and Benin Republic in Group C of the African qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The 53-year-old former Nigeria international has called upon Eagles’ leading marksman Victor Osimhen, Atalanta’s UEFA Europa League final hat-trick hero Ademola Lookman, newly-crowned German Bundesliga champion Victor Boniface, as well as twenty other players, for the crucial encounters slated for June.

Also on the list of invited players are English Football League (EFL) champions Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City, South Africa-based goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, who shone at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, and the Fulham duo of Calvin Bassey and Alex Iwobi.

Udinese shot-stopper Maduka Okoye also makes a return to the team, as does former Bendel Insurance defender Benjamin Tanimu, who now plays for Ihefu SC in Tanzania. Finidi also selected Remo Stars dazzling full-back Sadiq Ismael, who will be hoping to make his national team debut, and Enyimba goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo.

The Super Eagles, currently third in the group with two points from two games, will first come up against eternal foes in South Africa’s Bafana Bafana on Friday, June 7, at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, in the match scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. local time.

Three days later, on Monday, June 10, at 4 p.m. Nigerian time, they will head to Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where they will face West African neighbours Benin Republic, who are coached by former Nigeria national team manager Gernot Rohr.






Goalkeepers: Stanley Nwabali (Chippa United, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Udinese FC, Italy); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC)

Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Sadiq Ismael (Remo Stars FC); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Benjamin Tanimu (Ihefu SC, Tanzania)

Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Alhassan Yusuf Abdullahi (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England); Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (Hatayspor, Turkey)

Forwards: Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Paul Onuachu (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France)

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