Gernot Rohr was appointed as manager of the Nigerian national football team, Super Eagles, on August 9, 2016 and ever since then, the German tactician has used 54 players in 50 matches.
Out of those 54 players, Rohr has featured eleven players born in Europe who opted to play for the Super Eagles. Complete Sports’ OLUYEMI OGUNSEYIN highlights the 11 players and their records under Rohr.
William TROOST-EKONG (Watford, England; on loan from Udinese, Italy)
DOB: 1 September, 1993 (27 years)
Born in the Netherlands into a mixed Dutch and Nigerian family and being eligible for both the Netherlands and Nigeria in international football, William Troost-Ekong opted to represent the latter.
He made his senior international debut for the Super Eagles on 13 June 2015, playing 90 minutes in an African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match against Chad.
He made three starts for the senior team in 2016 before being selected for Nigeria’s under-23 team in their 35-man provisional squad for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
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In June 2018, he was named in Nigeria’s 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. In April 2019, he said that playing for Nigeria was his “best decision ever”.
Leon BALOGUN (Rangers, Scotland)
DOB: 28 June, 1988 (32 years)
Born to a Nigerian father and German mother, Leon Balogun was called up by Nigeria for a March in 2014 friendly against Mexico as a replacement for Joseph Yobo. Balogun entered at half-time, but was injured after 20 minutes in a collision with signage on the touchline.
On 25 March 2015, he played his second game for Nigeria in a 1-0 loss against Uganda. He played his third game for the country on 13 June 2015 when he featured in a 2-0 win over Chad in the opening game of the qualifying series for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations .
In June 2018, he was named in Nigeria’s final 23-man squad for the
2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Balogun played in every minute of the three games Nigeria played including a 2-0 win over Iceland but were eliminated after finishing third in their group.
Ola AINA (Fulham, England on loan from Torino, Italy)
DOB: 8 October 1996 (24 years)
Ola Aina had represented England at under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19 and England under-20 levels before
switching his international allegiance to Nigeria in May 2017.
In the same month, he was called up for the first time to play for
Nigeria. In May 2018, he was named in Nigeria’s preliminary 30-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. However, he did not make the final 23.
He was later recalled into the squad and played a major role in the team’s qualification for the 2019 AFCON in Egypt. He played the first Match against tournament debutant, Burundi, assisting the only goal of the match.
Bryan IDOWU (Khimki, Russia, on loan from Lolomotiv Moscow)
DOB: 18 May, 1992 (28 years
Bryan ldowu’s father is a Nigerian and his mother is half Russian, half-Nigerian. He was born and raísed in St. Petersburg, Russia, except for a period when he was aged six and lived briefly in Owerri, Imo State.
In November 2017, Idowu was called up to the Nigerian national, team for their friendly against Argentina in Krasnodar on 14 November 2017, made his debut, coming on as a half-time
substitute for Ola Aina and scoring the third goal in a 4-2 win.
In May 2018, he was named in Nigeria’s preliminary 30-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and also made the final cut.
Semi AJAYI (West Brom, England)
DOB: 9 November, 1993 (26 years)
At the end of May 2013, England-born Semi Ajayi was cailed up to the Nigerian U-20 squad for their 2013 Toulon Tournament matches, making his debut on 4 June in a 1-1 draw with Belgium.
He made two further appearances against Portugal and Brazil. He received his first call-up to the sęnior team in August 2018 for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.
He made his.debut against Seychelles in the 2019 AFCON quaiifiers, coming on for the injured Chidozie Awaziem in the 73rd minute.
Tyronne EBUEHI (Twente, Holland on loan from Benfica, Portugal)
DOB: 16 December 1995 (24 years)
Born in the Netherlands to a Nigerian father and a Dutch mother, Tyronne Ebuehi was called up for the first time to the Nigerian national team for a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Algeria in November 2016.
However, he declined the call-up, stating then that he needed some time to settle into his team ADO Den Haag. He was later called up for friendiies against Senegal and Burkina Faso in March 2017 and joined up with the squad.
He made his senior debut for Nigeria in a 3-0 friendly win over Togo on 1 June
Ebuehi was in Nigeria’s 23-man squad to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He came
on as a substitute in the second half of a 2-0 victory over Iceland on 22 June 2018.
On 5 October 2019, Ebuehi got a late invite to play for the Super Eagles in a friendly against Brazil after detender Kenneth Omeruo got injured while on club duty.
Joe ARIBO (Rangers, Scotland)
DOB: 21 July, 1996 (24 years
Position: Central Midfield
English-born Joe Aribo scored a goal on his international debut for Nigeria when the Super Eagles played a 2-2 draw with Ukraine in an international friendly match on September 10, 2019.
The attacking midfielder also found the back of the net when Nigeria played yet another draw, this time 1-1 with Brazil also in a friendly on 13 October, 2019.
Carl IKEME (Retired)
DOB: 8 June, 1986 (34 years)
Ikeme was born in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands and was eligible to represent England or Nigeria at international level, choosing the latter
He was first called up to the Super Eagles squad in March 2007 by Berti Vogts who named a 37-man provisional squad for a 2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Uganda.
He made his international debut for Nigeria on 5 September 2015 against Tanzania in a 2017 AFCON qualifier.
Ikeme made three appearances early on in Nigeria’s successful qualification campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but could not go to the tournament due to his cancer treatment.
Maduka OKOYE (Sparta Rotterdam, Holand)
DOB: 28 August, 1999 (21 years)
Maduka Okoye was born in Dusseldorf to a Nigerian father and a German mother.
On 14 August 2019, Gernot Rohr invited Maduka for a friendly against Ukraine on 10, September, 2019 in Dnipro-Arena.
On 13 October 2019, he made his international debut as a substitute for the injured Francis Uzoho in a friendly match against Brazil which ended 1-1.
Josh MAJA (Bordeaux, France)
DOB: 27 December 1998
Born in England, Josh Maja made his international debut for Nigeria on 10 September, 2019 in a 2-2 draw in a friendly match against Ukraine, replacing Victor Osimhen in added time.
Kevin AKPOGUMA (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Germany)
DOB: 19 April 1995 (25 years)
Kevin Akpoguma finally made his debut for the Super Eagles in their 1-1 draw with Algeria in an international friendly match at the Worthersee Stadium Flagenfurt in Austria on Friday, October 9, 2020.
Born to a German mother and a Nigerian father, Akpoguma who represénted. Germany at all the youth levels of football replaced Tyrone Ebuehi in the 67th minute.
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