Nigeria World Cup Roster: Its Strengths and Weaknesses

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst IJune 1, 2010

Nigeria's Swedish coach, Lars Lagerback has just named his 23-man squad for the World Cup finals, but has he got it right?

The most important thing is who he has left out of the squad. Real Zaragoza's Ikechukwu Uche and Everton's Victor Anichebe are out of Largerback's squad for the World Cup.

In Uche case, his omission is striking, he was the Super Eagles top scorer in qualifying. Yes, he has only recently recovered from a knee injury but his experience in front of goal is unquestionable.

In Anichebe's case his lack of playing time with Everton in the Premier League will ultimately have cost him his place at this years football festival.

However, what is most striking is that Lagerback has picked Chelsea's John Mikel Obi, and Nice defender Onyekachi Apam who was also struggling with a knee problems, yet he can't find a place for a recognised striker in a squad short on strikers.


Defensively the Super Eagles are very solid at the back with Danny Shittu and Joseph Yobo as their centre back pairing.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

With Mikel Obi, Yusof Ayila and Dickerson Etuhu sitting in from of the back four the Nigerian defense is a tough nut to crack.

Elderson Echiejile of Rennes who played many of the later games in this years Africa Cup of Nations tournament is a solid left back, but Taye Taiwo of Marseille, is a quick coutner attacking defender and has a ferocious shots when needed.


The midfield is a wonderful defensive unit but the link up play between defense to midfield and the strikers can be laborious at times. They will need to find a spark of inspiration from somewhere.

The inclusion of only four strikers is also a worry for the Super Eagles and they will have to hope that Lokomotiv Moscow's Osazemwinde Odemwingie can fire on all cylinders.

Star Performer

Osazemwinde 'Peter' Odemwingie was the lone bright spark in the Nigerian attack in the Afrcia Cup of Nations. Lagerback will be hoping that Odemwingie can continue the form of the ACN to the World Cup.

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda, Israel), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Petah Tikva, Israel)

Defenders: Taye Taiwo (Marseille, France), Elderson Echiejile (Rennes, France), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Joseph Yobo (Everton, England), Daniel Shittu (Bolton Wanderers, England), Ayodele Adeleye (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Rabiu Afolabi (SV Salzburg, Austria)

Midfielders: Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany), John Utaka (Portsmouth, England), Kalu Uche (Almeria, Spain), Dickson Etuhu (Fulham, England), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England), Sani Kaita (Alaniya, Russia), Haruna Lukman (AS Monaco, France), Yusuf Ayila (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Osaze Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia)

Strikers: Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton, England), Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth, England), Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg, Germany), Victor Obinna Nsofor (Malaga, Spain)

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!