Rio 2016: Siasia picks Mikel, Musa, Ighalo as three over-aged players

Samson Siasia

Nigeria national U-23 coach, Samson Siasia, has selected his three over-aged players for the 2016 Rio Olympics football event.

The former international’s choice are Super Eagles skipper, John Obi Mikel, his predecessor, Ahmed Musa, and Watford goal machine, Odion Ighalo.

All qualified teams are expected to name three players outside the age bracket in their squad for the tournament – with Bristol City forward, Osaze Odemwingie, the sole over-aged player at the 2008 edition.

The choice of  Mikel comes days after Siasia declared the Chelsea midfielder “welcome” to be part of the Dream Team VI after missing out on the squad that won silver in Beijing eight years ago.

“I guess that because Mikel missed out the last time, he wants to make up for it,” Siasia was quoted as saying.

“Not only that, the last couple of games he has played for the Super Eagles, he has been playing very well, and if he wants to be part of the team, of course he is welcome, but as I said we have to look at the positions.”

The other two, Ighalo and Musa of CSKA Moscow, have been impressive for their respective clubs – contributing 36 goals thus far between them.

But Siasia, 48, warned the trio stressing they have to merit their places in his starting XI.

“We are not going to select players because they play for the Super Eagles or because they are still under the age bracket.

“They have to compete with those players who actually qualified the team for the Olympics.”

Nigeria are drawn in Group B alongside Japan, Colombia and Sweden at the games, which begin on August 4.