By Anthony Nlebem.
Amid growing requests from football fans to invite eligible players of Nigerian descent to play for the national team, Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has hinted that such players must show motivation and commitment to play for Nigeria.
The Portuguese tactician was recently in England to watch Nigeria stars where he also had the opportunity to watch English-based players eligible for the Eagles.
The 62-year-old hinted that the nation is blessed with talents that can wear the national jersey and also with the likes of Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise, Folarin Balogun, Carney Chukwuemeka, Tosin Adarabioyo, Noni Madueke among the numerous players of Nigeria decent eligible to play for the Eagles waiting for a national call-up.
The former Venezuela coach however hinted that he will extend an invitation to players who have a passion to play for Nigeria .
“There are many, many players at the moment that can play for Nigeria. “You receive some information or when you watch many players on TV or live, you can discover more players, more players, more players,” Peseiro said in an interview with the Mirror.
“I was in some matches when I was in England to see some players, then at the same time, we discovered, ‘well that player can play for us, also’, normally young players.
“There are many good players with quality, capacity and good training. For us, if we want to win the next AFCON, I am happy because I have many players with the quality to create a good national team.
“But it’s not easy to choose the right players. We try to see them in the match, and after that, I try to call them for our practice and our friendly games because we want to create a small group with quality for developing in training and practice to implement our ideas to win the next AFCON.
“But there are a lot of players, and they need to show the maximum demand and motivation to play for Nigeria. Quality, of course, but demand and motivation to play for us.”
Peseiro recently gave Anglo-Nigerian defender Bright Osayi-Samuel his Super Eagles debut in an international friendly against Portugal in December 2022.
The likes of William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi, Maduka Okoye, Josh Maja, and Victor Moses are some of the players who chose to play for Nigeria when they were eligible to represent other countries.
Since taking charge of the Eagles job in May 2022, Peseiro has recorded four defeats in friendlies against Mexico, Ecuador, Algeria and Portugal, while he has recorded two wins over Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe in his first two Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games.