Birthday recall for Obafemi Martins

Thursday 29 October 2015

/ by Colin Udoh
Obafemi Martins celebrates victory over LA Galaxy

Obafemi Martins received an unexpected birthday present on Thursday, with a recall to the Nigeria national team.

Martins turned 31 on Wednesday and celebrated with Seattle Sounders beating Steven Gerard's LA Galaxy 3-2 in the knockout round of MLS Cup playoffs.

A day later, there was cause for even more celebration, as Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh rewarded his 2015 form of 15 goals in 22 games with an international recall.

Martins joins 22 other players, including 6 from the domestic league, who will take on Swaziland in a two-legged preliminary round 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The two-legged fixture will take place over four days in November, with the first leg in Lobamba on Friday, November 13 and the return at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, November 17.


Martins returns to the squad for the first time in two years.

Other top names in the squad are Chelsea's John Mikel Obi, Watford's Odion Ighalo and captain Ahmed Musa of CSKA Moscow.

Nigeria coach Oliseh also has a fair sprinkling of youth, with Wilfed Ndidi, Abdullahi Shehu, Dele Alampasu and Arsenal youngster Alex Iwobi.

But there is as yet still no place for Manchester City starlet Kelechi Iheanacho and there is bound to be plenty of chatter about that exclusion in the coming days.

UPDATE: Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho has been added to the squad



Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Dele Alampasu (Club de Sportivo Feirense, Portugal)


Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Kalu Orji (Enugu Rangers); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France); Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz, Germany); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Austin Oboroakpo (Abia Warriors)


Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Paul Onobi (Sunshine Stars); John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Rabiu Ibrahim (AS Trencin, Slovakia); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Sylvester Igbonu (FC UFA, Russia)


Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Ezekiel Bassey (Enyimba FC); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders, USA)

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  1. Good list. Adding Kelechi to the roster shows the gaffer listens. Now, the team is more balanced. He can play 4-3-3 way and 4-4-2 at home. Another chance for Balogun to extend his good performance in central defence if needed. Hopefully, he will invite Isaac Success and Victor Moses for the next round of games


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