Former internationals Emmanuel Babayaro and Nduka Ugbade are satisfied with Nigeria’s 30-man provisional list for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Gernot Rohr’s provisional list was released on Monday by the Nigeria Football Federation.
Leading the pack is captain John Mikel Obi; goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, defenders Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile and Leon Balogun.
Others are Ogenyi Onazi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Ahmed Musa and Victor Moses.
It also includes youthful goalie Francis Uzoho, defenders William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo and Olaoluwa Aina, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Joel Obi and John Ogu as well as forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon and Alex Iwobi.
And Babayaro, an Olympic gold medalist at Atlanta ’96, said the names were purely based on merit.
“I think the list is okay. Seriously looking forward to see if we can finally break that last 16 hurdle and get to the quarters for the very first time,” he said.
“I think this is long over due and hopefully Russia is where history will be made.
“I am delighted that at least three home-based players namely; Dele Ajiboye, Junior Lokosa and Ikechukwu Ezenwa made the provisional list and my guts tells me Lokosa will make the 23-man final list.”
On his part, Ugbade hailed the inclusion of the leading scorer in the Nigeria Professional Football League Junior Lokosa in the squad.
He said, “I think the list is made up of the usual suspects and these are the players that we should indeed be taking to the World Cup.
“Looking at our options upfront, I think the likes of Ighalo, Moses and Iheanacho should be able to keep their jerseys barring any injury worries.
“I am also so thrilled to see Lokosa’s name on that 30-man provisional list. He truly deserves it especially having scored 18 goals in 20 games for Kano Pillars in the NPFL so far this season.”