At the age of 32, Newcastle’s veteran striker Shola Ameobi has made the Nigerian World Cup squad of 23, so in the twilight of his career he will get to take part in a World Cup, and that’s great news for Shola, who will leave Newcastle at the end of the month when his contract runs out. And news also, as expected, that Cheick Tiote has made the Ivory Coast squad of 23.
Shola Ameobi - in Nigeria’s colors
Ameobi has played for fourteen years in the Newcastle first team, ever since Sir Bobby Robson gave him his Newcastle debut against Chelsea way back in September of 2000.
Shola and Cheick becomes the fourth and fifth Newcastle players to make the World Cup, with Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko of France and Tim Krul of Holland also taking part in the tournament, which starts next week in Brazil.
Here is the full 23 man Nigerian squad that has just been announced by manager Stephen Keshi:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim
Defenders: Joseph Yobo, Elderson Echiejile, Juwon Oshaniwa, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Efe Ambrose, Kunle Odunlami
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ramon Azeez, Michael Uchebo, Reuben Gabriel
Strikers: Osaze Odemwingie, Ahmed Musa, Shola Ameobi, Emmanuel Emenike, Babatunde Michael, Victor Moses, Uche Nwofor
In his Newcastle career Shola played 396 games with 79 goals and 37 goals, and he currently has six caps for Nigeria with two goals.
Here is the Ivory Coast squad of 23 which has only just been announced by manager Sabri Lamouchi, and it includes Swansea striker Wilfried Bony and the great Didier Drogba, as well as Cheick:
Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe Sport), Sayouba Mande (Stabaek)
Defenders: Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Toulouse), Serge Aurier (Toulouse), Souleyman Bamba (Trabzonspor), Arthur Boka (VfB Stuttgart), Viera Diarrassouba (Caykur Rizespor), Constant Djakpa (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor)
Midfielders: Geoffroy Serey Die (Basel), Ismael Diomande (St Etienne), Max Gradel (St Etienne), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover 96)
Forwards: Mathis Bolly (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Wilfried Bony (Swansea City), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Gervinho (AS Roma), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Giovanni Sio (Basel)
Note: Matthew Stephenson is a life-long Newcastle fan and an avid reader of this blog – and he is participating in the Great North Run in early September, and running to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer. Here is Matthew’s JustGiving page and please donate for a worthy cause, to help him reach his £300 goal for the Charity – many thanks.