NPL stars to face Catalonia

Posted: 19 December 2012 Time: 09:07 am

Nigeria will field only home-based players against Catalonia in their January 2 clash.

NFF officials have revealed that the game against Catalonia will be used the final test to select the Home-based players that will make coach Stephen Keshi's final 23-man squad for next month's Nations Cup.

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Spokesman for the Nigeria Football Federation Ademola Olajire told newsmen that players who do not make the final team will return back to Nigeria after the game from their camp in Faro Portugal.

Olajire further disclosed that the team will now travel to their camp in Portugal on December 23, while a fundraising dinner is being proposed to be held on December 29.

In a related development, coach Stephen Keshi has pleaded with Nigerians not to distract his team with unconstructive criticisms at this crucial stage of preparation for the Nations Cup.

“The entire team needs absolute concentration but every day there are reports about divisions in the team and several other negative stories and that is not good for the type of team we want to build for the Nations Cup,” Keshi said.

Article by: Uche George Egbe

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Apiripah
posted: 09:31am 19/12/2012
I haven't seen any team in Africa,Europe and America that is rebuilding in a serious football competition.Every other country coming to AFCON is coming with a full force while Nigeria is going with Cement,Iron and bricks to Rebuild.Keshi,When are you going to stop this annoying word REBUILD?.Aren't you tired of repeating one word over and over since a year now?Damn it.
angel
posted: 10:00am 19/12/2012
the idea of keshi having a slot for the homebased players does not allow for fairness in selection.this nigeria factor is a teething problem why we dont seem so develop its a negative and deprogressive system that needs to be abolished.it does not allow for democracy.i expected keshi to invite atleast 23 professionals from europe,if any of the home based is better then the euro based should be dropped.giving quota to the homebased is favouritism and that nigerian factor that seem to draw us backwards.so the likes of osaze should be dropped for who uzoenyi?oboabonna should come ahead of danny shittu?we have this leon balogun from the bundesliga kalu uche is doing very well as a striker not a midfielder.haruna lukman has picked up form.in my assessment going by current form the best 23 squad for nigeria are vincent enyeama,austin ejide,chigozie agbim.kenneth omeruo,taiye taiwo,elderson echiejile,joseph yobo,danny shittu,apam onyekachi,efe ambrose.nwankwo obiorah,mikel obi,fengor ogude,nosa igiebor,haruna lukman,raheem lawal.osaze odenwegie,victor moses,ahmed musa,emmanuel emenike,ike uche,brown ideye,kalu uche.on current form this players mentioned should be on the flight to south africa but sentiments and the nigeria deprogressive factors will come in and this will come and go as usual elusive nations cup.keshi will come up with that lame excuse we already used to hearing we are building so in a couple of years bla bla bla.....God help us
denonso1
posted: 10:50am 19/12/2012
Updated list:
Abundance of talent is one thing, but having a team is whole different case. Nigeria will ONLY have a formidable team if Keshi chose his team based on merit. Idea team:

Goalkeepers:
1.V. Enyeama, 12. A. Ejide, 23. C. Agbim

Defenders:
20.K. Solomon, 16.K Omeruo, 3.T. Taiwo, 19.U. Echiejile, 2.J. Yobo 5.O. Apam, 6.E. Ambrose, 13. A. Egwueke

Midfielders(Attacking/Defensive):
7.A. Musa, 11.V. Moses, 21.P. Odemwingie, 12.L. Haruna, 10.O. Mikel, 14.E.Igiebor, 4.J. Obi, 22.O.Nwankwo (or F.Ogude),

Strikers:
8.B. Ideye, 9.E. Emenike, 15.I. Uche, 17.O. Martins, 18.S. Ameobi

Standby:
F.Ogude (good player & a hard working midfielder)
E.Imoh (Fast rising star, & deserves to be given a chance)
O.Nsofor (good player, but needs to be evaluated under the new Super Eagles system to determine his fit)
K.Uche (good player, but plays as a striker in his club. It will not be wise to pick him as a central midfielder, but can be a good option as an attacking midfielder)
D.Adejo (good defender, but needs to gain international experience at national team level)
C.Ogbuke (Experienced player, could snick into the last list)
Sa.Ameobi (Very promising talent, but needs time to mature into a great talent. CAP him immediately after ANC bcos he is target for England, but with his brother on our side, we have the upper hand to CAP him)
J.Chibuike (promising talent, could be a surprise inclusion)
G.Oboabona (Very questionable player, gives wrong passes that results counterattacks on our defense)
S.Aluko (good player, but he is down the pecking order in his position)
L.Balogun (would be a great pick-up, available without need for FIFA clearance)
O.Onazi (Need more experience & not a regular in Lazio)
S.Sam (Not yet cleared by FIFA & has injury)?

Based on these available players, can someone tell me why \"Keshi\" in his right state of mind will opt to invite only 17 foreign-based players. If he goes along with this plan, he will be sacked at the end of a fruitless ANC. I have always had doubt about Keshi's fairness in players selection, and this guy seems like he is bound to put the integrity of Nigeria in football under a risk of hefty embarrassment.
Anonymous
posted: 11:25am 19/12/2012
@denonso,

Nice analysis there,but i am a bit dissappointed not to see Ejike Uzoenyi in either your first list or standby.
Agreed he had a bad game in the last friendly against venezuela but he surely deserves a place in Afcon list,he is among the best top 5 NPL players and much better than Sone Aluko etc in the left midfield.I think deserves to be there.
Game147
posted: 11:26am 19/12/2012
Hmmmmmm......anyway, ba damua.
ZION 2
posted: 12:16pm 19/12/2012
In a related development, coach Stephen Keshi has pleaded with Nigerians not to distract his team with nonconstructive criticisms at this crucial stage of preparation for the Nations Cup..
Anonymous
posted: 01:13pm 19/12/2012
OMG! I read this story yesterday and my hope of Eagles winning the Nations Cup evaporated. How can a nation that is serious about even making it to the semi finals do this to themselves. What is the purpose of taking 23 home based players to Europe to play a European team when we already know the 4-6 players Keshi is going to pick from the exercise?

At a time Brown Ideye and Ahmed Musa and many others are willing to cut short holidays and begging the technical crew to open camp for final preparations, it is now that we want to start a jamboree with the home based. There are so many questions to ask NFF and Keshi.

Why can't the Euro based be involved in this camp that opens on December 23?
Catalonia is not a registered Fifa country, what does the Nff hope to achieve with this match besides the money they are getting for this game?
If we must play Catalonia ,why must we play them with only home based. Do you know that the last time we played them, they beat the home based 5-0?
Do you realize that these guys are a collection of Spanish players from the Basque district that include Xavi and Fabregas, and coached by Johan Cruyff.
It is exactly one month to the Afcon, and the NFF have not even confirmed one single match with an African country. When are the Eagles going to play an African team?
Since our Euro based players are willing to start camping early why does the NFF and Keshi want to wait till January 4 to start camping when most countries like Tunisia and South Africa start on December 27?
What happened to the proposed games against Cape Verde, Algeria and Angola?
Slyman

\"
Anonymous
posted: 01:44pm 19/12/2012
@denonso,

Nice analysis there,but i am a bit dissappointed not to see Ejike Uzoenyi in either your first list or standby.
Agreed he had a bad game in the last friendly against venezuela but he surely deserves a place in Afcon list,he is among the best top 5 NPL players and much better than Sone Aluko etc in the left midfield.I think deserves to be there.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anonymous, I hope you were not drunk when you wrote that comment. Ejike is okay but to actually say that he is better than Aluko is such a stretch. Please go to YouTube and See ALUKOs highlight.

Can Ejike play freekicks and bend it like Beckam, can he play on both wings, can he also play the free role as the central attacking midfielder? Do you know that the current best player in the British championship division is Sone Aluko. If Ejike is so good how come he has been rejected so many times after trials? Why does Ejike claim to be 20 when he has 5 years of NPL experience? Ejike is an NPL quality, but definitely not world class.

If both Osaze and Aluko are dropped for Uzoenyi, it will be a travesty of justice.
Slyman
Anonymous
posted: 01:52pm 19/12/2012
▌▌Yiηkα ★ ...Naija for l!fe ☜

@ Slyman. ...very well said. DOUBLE THUMBS UP!!

Wonder if our homebase players knows how strong the opposition \"catalonia\" really are. I say' ...some of them are CURRENT WORLD CHAMPION WITH SPAIN.

Begs the question why our european players arent tested too. No disrespect but ...No one should be treated special.

By know. KESHI should know hos starting line'up. & should @ least have 2 african friendless before the tournament. God'll help us!
alhajibolaji554
posted: 02:32pm 19/12/2012
Can't you guys see. The foreign based Eagles aren't even allowed to come until January 4. If Keshi could....he would have brought those players to Faro.
Spoton
posted: 06:13pm 19/12/2012
alhajibolaji554
posted: 02:32 pm | Report
Can't you guys see. The foreign based Eagles aren't even allowed to come until January 4. If Keshi could....he would have brought those players to Faro.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Were they not aware of that fact before they organized the match? Why haven't they planned the match for say 6th January when his real team will be in attendances so he can start to perfect his tactics if he ever has one? Considering that only 4 to 6 of the home based players will be in South Africa, in my opinion, this is a waste of time.


Using only home based only for yet another friendly match as Keshi continues to rebuild until kingdom comes, I will advice you guys to lower your expectations as ex eagles Taribo West ans Akpoborie has already pointed out. This friendly or novelty match will probably end 10 - 0 in favour of Catalonia - remember it was 5 -0 last time the played the eagles
Anonymous
posted: 08:31pm 19/12/2012
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has disclosed his list of foreign-based pros will be made public on Christmas day on Tuesday.

However, Keshi on Wednesday in Abuja gave away some of the professionals who will be on that list when he said Russia-based strikers Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike as well as Ogenyi Onazi will be in camp in Portugal on December 29.

Keshi also said Ukraine-based striker Brown Ideye will also join up with the rest of the squad on the same day.

He also mentioned Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi and Bright Dike, who is based in the United States, as players who have impressed him to earn a call-up for the Nations Cup.

He said he expects at least 11 of the foreign-based players mainly from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe in Portugal on this day.

However, he confirmed that Inter Milan midfielder Joel Obi will not be involved in the Nations Cup in South Africa on account of a muscle injury.

“Joel Obi is out and we will miss him,” lamented Keshi.

The Eagles coach heaped praise on Kano Pillars defensive midfielder Gabriel Reuben, who has returned to full fitness after a long-term groin complaint, which kept him out of recent games involving the national team.

"Reuben has been great. He has been showing us that we missed him in the Eagles. He has been climbing in training and with his form, he can only get better,\" Keshi declared.--------------------------------------------------------------------

Just read this from Mtnfootball. Kickoff where is the truth in your story. Are the Eagles resuming final preparations on January 4th, December 23, 27, or 29?

Why is Keshi waiting till Christmas day to release this list? I suspect it is because of the shock factor. He will not be able to handle the criticism that will come with leaving out major players like Martins, Osaze, Kalu Uche, Aluko and Apam. Welcome back Gabriel Reuben.

What the hell is Shola Ameobi and Dike doing on this list? Slyman
danorous1
posted: 11:39pm 19/12/2012
Keshi, you have nothing to offer. Stop kidding yourself.
angel
posted: 02:28am 20/12/2012
Keshi's 17 euro based eagles for afcon are enyeama,ejide, yobo,ambrose,echiejile,omeruo. onazi,mikel,lawal,igiebor. emenike,ideye,ik uche,ameobi,dike,moses,musa.
Anonymous
posted: 05:55am 20/12/2012
@Angel! It looks like you may be right. If that is the case, I am very disappointed. How can this man explain dropping or not even giving a chance to some of Nigeria's best talents out there. Can you believe this
Taiwo dropped for Kwambe
Apam dropped for Oboabona
Haruna snubbed for Lawal
Odemwingie snubbed for Bright 'WTF 'Dike!!!
Kalu Uche snubbed for Shola '0 goal' Ameobi

Oboabona showed in Liberia, that he cant play right back. Against Venezuela, he was a liability all game. Terrible understanding with Egwueke in central defence and it was his erring pass that caused the only goal against the Eagles. In my humble opinion, Lawal lost the ball too many times in the midfield against Venezuela, he is not reliable. Ameobi does not score goals. He plays the game like he is only supposed to pass to Cisse or Ba in Newcastle. I am digging into the history books right now to find out when was the last time Shola scored a goal. Why can't Keshi see that despite Kalu Uche not being as tall as Shola, he controls the ball very well, passes very well and shoots on target. That is why this year alone Kalu scored 6 for Espanyol and 10 for Kasimpasa in all competitions. As for the ridiculous Bright Dike for Osaze Odemwingie, all I can say is OMG! WTF! Haba! Ewoo! Yeee! ........you guys can feel in the blanks I am so lost for words.

Somebody please wake me up from this nightmare and say 'It aint so'. Slyman
kimo
posted: 09:17am 20/12/2012
@ Slyman.. i think we are in the same nightmare together,,, but for the mean time i'll keep my calm till i see the official list...
if Apam and Obi doesn't make the list i'll understand they are still struggling with fitness..
aside this two,, mmhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

if Odemwingie is snubbed for Ameobi
Kalu Uche snubbed for Bright Dike
i will totally loose faith in humanity.. for now i reserve my comment.
blackpanther187
posted: 09:20am 20/12/2012
I really dont get this Dike inclusion!!

The only explanation I'll have is that Keshi wants somebody who would be pleased with bench role...

I'll would really love to see Martins.

By the way we dont know the final list at the moment so lets wait.

And please lets dont forget that we dont have a striker problem anyway!!


I have high hopes for Emenike and Lawal!!
angel
posted: 09:21am 20/12/2012
meanwhile solomon okonkwo has been drafted to the abuja fifa goal project camp of the super eagles.his invitation came as an impromptu to fill in the void at the right full back.heartlands okonkwo who was in the olympic team of 2008 class has a pact bullet on both.feet got amazing pace .can play as a right back and defensive midfield and left backs respectively.he is sweating it out alongsides other home based professionals.he has been left out over a year as at time former coach samson siasia was in charge.solomon okonkwo is one of the most experienced full backs in the team and he is expected to bring to bear the existing problems at the right full back.
blackpanther187
posted: 09:30am 20/12/2012
Uppss Sorry that I forgot to mention MOOOOOSES:

I think we may have a new Worldstar...But lets wait and see
denonso1
posted: 09:33am 20/12/2012
Nigeria does NOT stand a chance of getting out of the preliminaries of ANC or qualifying for Basil 2014 under STEPHEN KESHI. What type of coach continues to use the word \"rebuilding\" to hide his incompetency & lack of tactics for the game. Why is he opting to chose Bright Dike, Onazi, & Ameobi over the likes of Martins, Odemwingie, K.Uche, & Haruna? The worst of all Oboabona & Lawal over WHO? Apam & ????. Nigeria national team will not improve under the leadership of KESHI; Nigeria will be hiring a new coach after ANC. This frog \"KESHI\" do not have the best interest of our nation at heart. I will not be surprise he was among those bribing Westerhoff to favor them in team selection during the 90s Eagles. KESHI is very corrupt, and this is the BIG difference between him & Siasia. As much as many people would hate to hear Siasia's name being brought up. The reality is, unlike KESHI, Siasia would have had a reliable team profile for ANC by now. KESHI is not right for NIgeria because we are going to South Africa to continue experimenting. I am utterly embarrassed with KESHI's notion of \"rebuilding\". Only a flat-out clueless nation would allow this guy to continue after this ANC. I am a realist, KESHI is not football-intelligent & fair-minded enough to lead Super Eagles, I would have preferred an inexperience Oliseh to have gotten the job because he is PASSIONATE & PATRIOTIC (as Siasia) about resurrecting our team. Nigeria do NOT need experience foreign or domestic coach to succeed because they have the talents, and any dedicated coach who chose fairly will always raise a good team. Finally, I do not believe in KESHI anymore because he has shown me completely why he was a failure as the coach of MALI & TOGO's national team. KESHI wanted to do business with Togo worldcup selection, and he got himself sacked, in the same token, he chose MALI team based on bribery and he met the same faith. KESHI is about to do the same thing to his national team with regard to his proposed foreign-based team selection, where is the sense of PATRIOTISM & DIGNITY in that?
denonso1
posted: 09:34am 20/12/2012
Nigeria does NOT stand a chance of getting out of the preliminaries of ANC or qualifying for Brasil 2014 under STEPHEN KESHI. What type of coach continues to use the word \"rebuilding\\" to hide his incompetency & lack of tactics for the game. Why is he opting to chose Bright Dike, Onazi, & Ameobi over the likes of Martins, Odemwingie, K.Uche, & Haruna? The worst of all Oboabona & Lawal over WHO? Apam & ????. Nigeria national team will not improve under the leadership of KESHI; Nigeria will be hiring a new coach after ANC. This frog \"KESHI\\" do not have the best interest of our nation at heart. I will not be surprise he was among those bribing Westerhoff to favor them in team selection during the 90s Eagles. KESHI is very corrupt, and this is the BIG difference between him & Siasia. As much as many people would hate to hear Siasia's name being brought up. The reality is, unlike KESHI, Siasia would have had a reliable team profile for ANC by now. KESHI is not right for NIgeria because we are going to South Africa to continue experimenting. I am utterly embarrassed with KESHI's notion of \"rebuilding\\". Only a flat-out clueless nation would allow this guy to continue after this ANC. I am a realist, KESHI is not football-intelligent & fair-minded enough to lead Super Eagles, I would have preferred an inexperience Oliseh to have gotten the job because he is PASSIONATE & PATRIOTIC (as Siasia) about resurrecting our team. Nigeria do NOT need experience foreign or domestic coach to succeed because they have the talents, and any dedicated coach who chose fairly will always raise a good team. Finally, I do not believe in KESHI anymore because he has shown me completely why he was a failure as the coach of MALI & TOGO's national team. KESHI wanted to do business with Togo worldcup selection, and he got himself sacked, in the same token, he chose MALI team based on bribery and he met the same faith. KESHI is about to do the same thing to his national team with regard to his proposed foreign-based team selection, where is the sense of PATRIOTISM & DIGNITY in that?
Anonymous
posted: 11:25am 20/12/2012
@angel, I believe you are talking about Chibuzor Okonkwo.

@denonso, I will say let's wait and see that list. Easy bros, easy.

He better have a plan B. Rebuilding is one thing, but going out to simply Embarass the whole Federal Republic of Nigeria is another. President Jonathan is a Super Eagles fan. Somebody better tell the president that Keshi is planning treason because of his greedy chase of money. Slyman
Anonymous
posted: 02:29pm 20/12/2012
1Enyeama, Ejide, Agbim
2solomon Kwambe, Omeruo, solomon Okoronkwo
3Taiwo, Echegile, Suswan.
4Obiora Nwankwo, Onazi Ogenyi, Fengor Ogude
5 Joseph Yobo, Apam Onyekachi, Ayila
6)Efe, Egwueke, Adeleye
7)osaze, Musa, Obasi
8)Mikel, Gabriel Reuben, L.Haruna
9)ik Uche, O. martins, Anichebe.
10) Igiebor, J.Obi,Rabiu Ibrahim
11)Moses,Ideye, Nsofor.
ET: S.Ameobi, U.Kalu, Bright Dike.
if you are to select for Keshi. select the best 23.
longman
posted: 03:13pm 20/12/2012
Our kick off coaches by mouth don start again. I never for once see dem
Agree with keshi.. If una sabi pass him, why una no go coach SE? Full of
Negative answers.
angel
posted: 05:40pm 20/12/2012
@slyman yeah chibuzor okonkwo sorry
angel
posted: 06:01pm 20/12/2012
nigerian super eagles forced newly promoted nasarawa united to a one all friendly match up.eagles where one nil down off ibrahim ibrahim of nasarawa united before the equaliser by sunday mba in the 44th minute by penalty.how eagles lined up,gk. femi thomas df. benjamin francis,oboabona godfrey,azu egwueke,solomon kwambe.mf. gabriel rueben,sunday mba,fengor ogude. atk. gambo mohammed,tony okputu,ejike uzoenyi. the second half was fluid as the likes of chibuzor okonkwo was introduced alongside ten others as we struggled in the first half with the above mentioned players.however keshi was disappointed by his wards and have to put them to paces for 20mins
stanslinks
posted: 02:29am 21/12/2012
Now that I have seen this video of Sone Aluko http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbvRgJyW__k . Please somebody tell me that this guy is going to be in camp for Afcon or I will pee on myself now. My legs are still shaking. If this guy is not invited to camp, wallahi-tallahi that means person don chop bribe, shekinah! Unless his eligibility is in question.How can any couch spend one full year just to pick out 23 best players? Thats rubbish. I AM VERY VERY DISTURBED NOW.
stanslinks
posted: 02:54am 21/12/2012
I smell a rat here. I see Keshi paying Nigerian Football fans back in their own coin, for according Siasia that unflinching support against him. There is no other reason for these continuous deliberate omission and ridiculous exhibition of foresight.
Off Couse he will be sacked should his plans or lack of plans fail. Amokachi will be asked to take over temporarily (maybe qualify us for the world cup), then a foreign couch takes over. This is not my prayer (God forbid), but this is where Keshi might be taking us. He will continue the rebuilding exercise with his family and relatives.
Anonymous
posted: 03:09am 21/12/2012
Stanslinks, abeg I take God beg you no piss for body o!

I am glad you checked it out now. Better late, than never. After watching that video you will see why I said it was ridiculous for one anonymous man to claim Uzoenyi was better. If we had Aluko and Igiebor as our attacking midfielders, Mikel and Haruna (Joel if fit) as box to box and Gabriel Reuben and Obiora (Fengor if fit) in defensive midfield, we can easily challenge Ghana for the best midfield at the Afcon. But we will definitely have the advantage in the striking force if Keshi chooses objectively. Slyman
Anonymous
posted: 12:26pm 21/12/2012
Netherlands legend and Catalonia National Team coach Johan Cruyff has unveiled his list of nominated players for the eagerly anticipated exhibition match against the Super Eagles of Nigeria on January 2.

An analysis of the roster released by Cruyff revealed that 10 Barcelona players were called up for the tie at the at Cornella-El Prat Stadium, the home ground of Espanyol.

7 players are from La Liga side Espanyol while Rayo Vallecano contributed 2 players. Red Bull Salzburg, Getafe and AC Milan have one player each in the team which was unveiled on Thursday in a ceremony attended by the President of the Catalonia Federation, Andreu Subies.

The friendly against the Super Eagles is Cruyff's last game in charge of Catalonia, and he said that the best players have been chosen, leaving out players from the second division, because it is an important game and the opponents are preparing for the African Cup of Nations.

''For me it was a personal obligation. 40 years ago I was well received and have been here as a player and coach. I have fulfilled my obligations that I targeted,'' the former Ajax player told mundodeportivo.com.

Catalonia Squad to face Nigeria
Goalkeepers : Victor Valdes (Barcelona) and  Kiko Casilla (Espanyol)

Defenders:  Martin Montoya, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba (all Barcelona), Raul Rodriguez, Joan Capdevila (Espanyol) and Jordi Amat (Rayo Vallecano)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Sergi Roberto,  and Cristian Tello (all Barcelona), Victor Sanchez, Joan Verdú and Sergio Tejera (Espanyol)

Strikers: Alvaro Vazquez (Getafe), Jonathan Soriano (Red Bull Salzburg), Piti (Rayo Vallecano), Sergio Garcia(Espanyol) and Bojan Krkic (Milan).-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Guys this is the team Nigeria is planning to face with home based again! It is obvious we have men in the NFF who leave their brain at home before they go to work. How can this match even be competitive with so many World and European champions on one side and Keshi parading a squad from a dis functional league. Most of our players are out of shape from the league being in a perpetual state of recess. Slyman
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