Nigeria Best XI to miss Rio Olympics

Nigeria’s Dream Team VI are getting set to fly the country’s flag at this summer’s Rio Olympic football event.

Coach Samson Siasia on Friday announced his long awaited 18-man squad to the quadrennial showpiece without some of Nigeria’s best footballers under age 23.

With the tournament less than three weeks away, here’s a compilation of the possible strongest XI players to miss the trip to Rio using the 4-3-3 formation.

Goalkeeper: Dele Alampasu (19)

Already been at two FIFA junior World Cups, Dele Alampasu lost his place after having surgery for acute appendicitis.

Defenders: Musa Mohammed (19), Kenneth Omeruo (22), Wilfred Ndidi (19) and Mikel Agu (22)

Just like Alampasu, Musa Muhammed and Wilfred Ndidi have featured at both the U17 and U20 levels for Nigeria with the former skipper at both cadres. Ndidi, comfortable at centre-back and midfield misses due to commitment with his club, Genk, while Turkish based Mohammed was not even considered.

Joining the duo in defence is Super Eagles regular, Kenneth Omeruo, and Porto sensation, Mikel Agu. Omeruo opted out of the party to Rio due to his uncertain future at Chelsea, Agu on the hand was dropped from the initial 35-man provisional squad.

Midfield: Ogenyi Onazi (23), Kelechi Iheanacho (19) and Alex Iwobi (19)

The trio of Ogenyi Onazi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi would have made it into any U23 team in the world but sadly failed to even make it to the event proper. Unlike Lazio man Onazi who wasn’t even looked upon, the other two Premier League based youngsters were compelled to choose club over country due to the poor timing of the tournament.

Forward: Fred Friday (21), Moses Simon (21) and Isaac Success (20)

Gent winger, Moses Simon, was the only one even considered out of the aforementioned trio for the tournament. Fred Friday who recently moved to AZ Alkmar from Lillestrom after emerging topscorer in Norway as well Watford’s record signing, Isaac Success were both overlooked by Siasia.