Nigeria’s forward Victor Moses celebrates scoring a penalty to equalise during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Giuseppe CACACE
Eguavoen explains Musa, Onazi’s return to national team
South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations hero, Victor Moses, will return to the Super Eagles squad if Nigeria beats Ghana to qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
On Sunday, Super Eagles Interim Head Coach, Augustine Eguavoen, told his audience in Lagos that he would open the doors to the senior national team to players that would add value to the squad after the Qatar 2022 qualifying series.
Eguavoen, who confessed that he likes Moses’ style of play, said he would work to have him back in the team, adding, “We want the best for the country. Victor Moses is someone I also adore and I have been looking for ways to get him into the team.
“We have spoken, but he’s not part of this game but hopefully as time goes on because we want the best. Whether we like it or not, I think Victor Moses will bring some value. But right now he’s playing in that region (Russia), so that one is settled.”
On Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa, Eguavoen said he invited the former Leicester City star to the squad to motivate the younger players in the team.
He compared Musa’s current role in the national team to what Stephen Keshi, Peter Rufai and Joseph Yobo played in the past.
At different points, all three players got invitations based on their service to the team in the past and the honour the country is believed to owe them.
“Musa announced in his first press conference that it is his last AFCON. We are a country that doesn’t forget tradition and history. These are things we did for late (Stephen) Keshi. In 1994, he wasn’t playing but he was our leader.
“These are things we did for Peter Rufai, and Joseph Yobo. Musa can give us some good 45 to 60 minutes when it’s necessary. That’s why we try to see how we can help him leave the scene honourably. He has said he’s going to retire after the World Cup but he’s not God. He has a major role to play in the team.”
Eguavoen also explained the decision to recall midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, to the squad as one of the alternate players.
He confessed that the 2013 AFCON winner was invited to “pacify everybody,” adding, however, that he is not sure if the former Lazio star could still play at the top level.
“Onazi, good player. Whether he’s still good and can play at that level, we don’t know. But that’s why I said to pacify everybody, to ensure there’s harmony here, put him on the standby. While he’s on the standby, I have the final say.”
Onazi currently plays in the Saudi Arabia division two league.