Coach Samson Siasia has indicated he is taking the international friendly against the Brazilian Olympic team as more than just a friendly game as he has assembled a killer squad for the encounter scheduled for Vitoria, Brazil, come next Thursday.
Top on the killer squad list are celebrity players like former U-17 star Victor Osimhen who is now described as “the new Drogba” and Taiwo Awoniyi, star of the 2013 FIFA U17 and 2015 African U20 winning teams now playing with German side FSV Frankfurt.
According to a release by the Communications Department of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Coach Samson Siasia selected a twenty man team comprising nine home based and 11 foreign based players to prosecute the assignment.
Also in the squad are Emmanuel Daniel, Yusuf Mohammed and Sincere Seth (goalkeepers); Segun Oduduwa, Chizoba Amaefule, Ndifreke Effiong, Stanley Dimgba, Ubong Ekpai, Victor Osimhen, Sodiq Popoola, Godswill Ekpolo, Nathan Oduwa and Junior Ajayi (in defence and midfield) while in the forwarders include Imoh Ezekiel, Agboyi Ovbokha, Musa Mohammed, Theophilous Solomon, Iyayi Believe and Saturday Kaego.
The trio of Usman Mohammed, Bright Onyedikachi and Chima Akas were ruled out following visa complications and club engagement. While midfielder Mohammed and forward Onyedikachi reportedly submitted their passports late making it difficult for the NFF to secure visas for them, Chima Akas was dropped because he travelled with his club, Enyimba Football Club for a CAF Champions League tie in Burundi.
The Nigerian and Brazilian Olympic teams fought out a memorable semi final battle at the Atlanta ’96 Centennial Olympics with Nigeria winning in extra time and proceeding to clinch the gold medal against Argentina which they also defeated in the final.
Both teams now meet again 20 years after at the Kleber Andrade Stadium in Vitoria, Brazil.
The Dream Team as the Nigeria U-23 is called is expected to depart for Brazil via South Africa from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Sunday, aboard a South African Airways flight. On arrival in Sao Paulo, the Nigerian delegation would be flown to Vitoria where they would be lodged at the Hotel Ilha Do Boi-Senac.