The Super Eagles headed to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as African Champions just like they did in 1994 in the United States
The late coach Stephen Keshi had be given the mantle to handle the Nigerian team after failing to qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup as he recruited new blood into the team.
With the new crop of players, Nigeria went on to qualify for her fifth World Cup finals in the Brazil and for the second time, the Super Eagles went with an indigenous coach.
The West African Nation was grouped alongside Argentina, Iran, and Bosnia Herzegovina.
The three-time African Champions surpassed the first round but could not progress beyond the knock out stages for the umpteenth time as the Joseph Yobo captained side bowed out following a 0-2 loss to France.
Here are the 23 players that represented Nigeria at the world football showpiece in Brazil.
1. Vincent Enyeama
Making a third World Cup appearance and the second most experienced player in the Super Eagles was massive for the 31-year-old as the Lille goalkeeper was in between the sticks in all four matches.
Enyeama’s brilliance could not stop Lionel Messi from scoring two goals unlike in the 2010 tournament but overall he was ecstatic in goal for Nigeria.
The services of the CAF Champions League winner is still being needed by present coach Gernot Rohr for the Russia 2018 World Cup but retired Enyeama has said that he would only return to the team if he can get back fully fit.
2. Joseph Yobo
The whole fans in Nigeria knew this would be the last international tournament for Joseph Yobo as he fell from the perking order in the defense line during the 2013 Nations Cup triumph.
However, the former Evertonian only missed the first match against Iran but was available in the 2-3 loss to Argentina and the 1-0 win over Bosnia Herzegovina. He also played 90 minutes in the 0-2 loss to France in the last 16.
Yobo is giving back to the society through his organization that has awarded over 300 scholarships to students.
3. Reuben Gabriel
A rare opportunity was handed to the former Kano Pillars midfielder who advanced from the Team B Super Eagles to the mainstream.
The 23-year-old was one of the players that improved under the tutelage of the late Keshi but was an unused substitute at the group phase. The Kaduna state born came in for injured Ogenyi Onazi against Didier Dechamps’ side.
The former Kilmanorck player now plies his trade in Finland with Kups and have been snubbed after the late coach was relieved of his duties but has 12 caps to his name with the national team.
4. Efe Ambrose
The former U-20 international was Nigeria’s best right back under late Keshi as he made it to the World Cup finals.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic silver medalist was instrumental in the right side of defence as he played all four matches without being substituted.
Presently, the former Kaduna United defender plays for Scottish side Hibernian but has not played for the Super Eagles since 2016 as he garnered 51 caps and four senior goals in the Green and White Jersey.
5. Azubuike Egwuekwe
During the late Keshi era, the Nigerian tactician encouraged some amount of players from the local league which as a result, the big central defender was a benefactor.
The former Warri Wolves defender sat out all through the competition but made 35 appearances scoring two goals for the Super Eagles.
The 28-year-old is currently attached to South African side Supersport United after a year spell with Kups in Finland.
6. Ejike Uzoenyi
The fringe forward was brilliant with the home based Super Eagles at the 2014 edition of CHAN Nation Cup as he was named the MVP of the tournament and made it to the World Cup as well.
The 26-year-old came on a second half substitute for Babatunde Micheal against the Bosnian side who mounted pressure after going a goal behind.
Uzoenyi has not been having the best of times with his club career with Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits in the South African league as he has made just eight appearance for both clubs in three years.
7. Ahmed Musa
Ahmed Musa was player with a fast rising profile for club and country also one of the players to look out for in the tournament.
The winger did not fail to impress as he scored two glorious goals against Argentina in the 2-3 loss as the Super Eagles came from behind twice.
The once Super Eagles captain has been out of sort with former Premier League Champions Leicester City ever since Claudio Ranieri was sacked as manager of the club.
The former Kano Pillars flanker has also lost his starting place in the national team to Moses Simon but he is still a member of Gernot Rohr’s team to Russia 2018.
8. Peter Odemwingie
After settling the rift with the late coach, the Stoke City striker was recalled back into the squad for what would be his last competitive action for Nigeria.
At age 32, Osaze played all four matches and scored Nigeria’s only goal against Bosnia with a man of the match performance playing from the wings.
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Now 36, the former West Bromwich Albion is still wearing his scoring boots in the Indonesian League with Madura United netting 15 goals in 22 appearances.
The 2011 African Player of the Year played 63 times for the Super Eagles and scored 11 goal till he called it quits with the national team.
9. Emmanuel Emenike
The Fenerbache striker was Nigeria’s biggest headliner for club and country as he was tipped to do well at the 2014 World Cup after scoring four goals with the victorious team at the 2013 Nations Cup.
Unfortunately, Emenike did not find the back of the net at the World Cup but his work rate at the attacking line provided two assists in the competition.
The power playing striker was denied on several occasions in all four matches played as Nigeria bowed out with their heads high.
The Olympiakos striker retired prematurely from the national team in 2015 after a row with former coach Sunday Oliseh but managed nine goals from 37 matches between 2011 and 2015.
10. John Obi Mikel
Mikel Obi was Nigeria’s most recognized player at the World Cup in Brazil as it became a platform to announce himself to the world after missing the previous event staged in South Africa due to injury.
The Chelsea midfielder was present in all four matches but was substituted in the 89th minute in the encounter against Les Blues where he battled out the highly rated Pogba in midfield.
The present Super Eagles captain is one of the key players in the Gernot Rohr’s squad that qualified for the Russia 2018 finals. The 30-year-old currently plays and captains Tiajin Teda in the Chinese Super League.
11. Victor Moses
Super Eagles revelation of the moment was Chelsea’s Victor Moses after an eye-catching display with the victorious Nations Cup team in 2013.
He could not replicate the kind of form he showed at AFCON as the former Wigan winger played the first match against Iran and the round of 16 game against France which he was substituted respectively owing to recurring injury problems.
The Europa League winner with Chelsea has been a thorn in the flesh to opponents in Nigeria’s successful World Cup qualifying campaign as the Super Eagles team are always a better side with his inclusion.
12. Kunle Odunlami
The Sunshine Stars midfielder was counting his lucky stars when he was called up into the World Cup squad by the late Stephen Keshi.
The CHAN discovery was on the bench all through the competition as the Super Eagles were eliminated from the competition. The 26-year-old is yet to play for his country after his 11 caps since 2013.
13. Juwon Oshaniwa
One of late Stephen Keshi’s attributes is being able to spot an underdog and turn him into a world class player, so it was with Juwon Oshaniwa.
Oshaniwa was preferred to the experience of Elderson Echiejile in the left back position and he proved his worth in the starting XI in all four matches played.
The Hearts defender played 17 matches for the Super Eagles but has not worn the Green and White after Nigeria were knocked out of the 2014 World Cup.
14. Godfrey Oboabona
Godfrey Oboabona was another discovery from the home based Eagles with Sunshine Stars as he kept captain Joseph Yobo on the bench at the Nations Cup triumph in 2013.
He was unfortunate at the World Cup as he picked up an injury in the first game against Iran in the 29th minute giving way for Yobo in central defence.
Oboabona has been in and out of the national after the World Cup but has not been given a call up by German coach Gernot Rohr owing to the Leon Balogun and Troost Ekong’s form in the heart of the defence.
The 27-year-old is now with Saudi club Al-Ahli an have enjoyed 39 matches with the national team scoring one goal.
15. Ramon Azeez
A player without an appearance with senior team made it to the World Cup as he had his first two caps in the pre-tournament friendly.
The former U-17 played against Iran and watched the from the sidelines in the remainder of the competition before Nigeria bowed out of the competition.
With four caps to his name, the 24-year-old is currently playing with Spanish second division club, Lugo.
16. Austin Ejide
Just like every other World Cup, Austin Ejide was not given a chance as Vincent Enyeama has been consistent as Nigeria number one.
The shot stopper as usual did not kick the ball at 2014 edition in Brazil but has an impressive 45 caps since 2001. The 33-year-old currently play for Israeli club, Hapoel Hedera.
17. Ogenyi Onazi
Out of nowhere Onazi burst into the scene as he got his first call in 2012 and with his consistency in the defensive midfield position the Lazio player made it to the World Cup.
The 21-year-old was in the heart of the midfield providing cover for Mikel Obi and breaking counter attacks from opponents in the four matches played but got injured against France.
The Trabzonspor player has been part and parcel of the Super Eagles squad and rest assured he would be playing in Gernot Rohr’s team at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
18. Babatunde Micheal
The Volyn Lutsk striker was another surprise inclusion as the Nigerian coach claimed he wanted hungry players in the national team.
The 21-year-old exceeded expectations as he blistering pace put defenders on their toes and he made the assist to Ahmed Musa’s first goal against Argentina.
The 13 capped player now plays with Qatari side Qatar SC as the former Dnipro player is yet to be recalled in the Super Eagles.
19. Uche Nwofor
With the calibre of players Nigeria had in Europe Uche Nwofor was the least expected to be invited into the World Cup party even after scoring a brace in a friendly against South Africa.
The controversy did not bother the coach as the former U-20 international played 10 minutes against Argentina and came in a minute to the end in the encounter with France.
The 26-year-old is yet to enjoy another call up to the Super Eagles but has an impressive three goals in six matches for the senior team. He currently play in Slovakia with AS Trencin.
20. Micheal Uchebo
Many felt despite having a promising junior career with Nigeria does not make Micheal Uchebo ripe to play for the Eagles at the World Cup.
He made his senior debut against Mexico and scored in a friendly against Scotland. The 24-year-old came in for Osaze Odemwingie in the 2-3 loss to Argentina in his only appearance at the World Cup.
The former Enugu Rangers player has six caps with one goal and plays in the Moroccan league with Wydad Athletic club.
21. Chigozie Agbim
The goalkeeper was one of four home based player given a chance to fly Nigeria’s flag at the World Cup.
The former Warri Wolves number one was not given a chance as he was left on the bench in all four matches.
The former Chan Eagles captain has 14 caps to his name and currently plays for Rangers in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
22. Kenneth Omeruo
Considering his performance at the AFCON tournament in 2013, Omeruo was a sure bet in making the squad to the World Cup.
The defender paired with captain Joseph Yobo in the central defence and played all four matches at the World Cup.
Omeruo is still a member of the current squad that qualified for the Russia 2018 World Cup but has lost his place in team to the in-form Oyinbo Wall duo of Troost Ekong and Leon Balogun.
The former Standard Liege player is on loan from Chelsea to Turkish side Kasimpasa and has 31 caps with the Eagles.
23. Shola Ameobi
The long wait for Shola Ameobi to represent Nigeria in a competition was realized during the late Keshi era as he made it through to the World Cup after a fascinating goal against Italy in a friendly.
The 32-year-old came in twice as a second half substitute in the match against Iran and Bosnia respectively but did not kick the ball in the last two matches.
The Newcastle legend two-year spell with the Super Eagles produced two goals in 12 matches as the former England U-20 international is presently attached with Notts County in the lower division in England.
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