Finidi Invites Lookman, Boniface, Others For World Cup Qualifiers

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria have named a strong 25-man squad for their upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin, headlined by Europa League winner Ademola Lookman but will miss the services of current CAF African Player of the Year Victor Osimhen through injury.

Atalanta’s Lookman and German Bundesliga champion Victor Boniface will spearhead the offensive threat with Osimhen out injured for 4 weeks. Super Eagles’ Coach Finidi George has called up Enugu Rangers’ left back Kenneth Igboke has also been called up.

The midfield has been bolstered with the inclusions of Wilfred Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Alex Iwobi and Raphael Onyedika.

New head coach George Finidi has called up an attack-minded group as the Super Eagles look to take control of Group C, signalling his intention to move away from the defensive tactics employed at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

“With the calibre of players that we have, we cannot play defensive football,” said Finidi.  “We have to get the right balance between attack and defence.”

Finidi has also handed a first call-up to Remo Stars wing-back Sadiq Ismail, arguably the best player currently in the Nigerian domestic league with 12 assists already this season.

In goal, Maduka Okoye returns between the sticks after missing the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON, with Francis Uzoho the man to miss out despite good recent club form. The home-based duo are joined by Chippa United’s Stanley Nwabali, who is expected to retain his place as Nigeria’s number one after keeping four clean sheets at the AFCON.

Nigeria currently sit third in their qualifying group after beating Mauritania but losing to Sudan in the opening two matches back in November. They will be looking to make home advantage count when they host South Africa in Uyo on June 7th, before facing Benin away in Abidjan three days later.

With one team qualifying automatically for the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico, Finidi knows maximum points from the upcoming double-header could prove crucial.

Super Eagles of Nigeria Squad

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); Kenneth Igboke (Enugu Rangers)

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); 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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