Udinese goalie Maduka Okoye sets sight on Super Eagles return

The goalkeeper of Italian top-flight side Udinese Calcio and Nigerian international Maduka Okoye has said he wants to return back to international football for his country Nigeria.

It will be recalled Okoye didn’t appear with the Super Eagles at the recent AFCON in Ivory Coast where Nigeria finished as the runners-up after loosing 2:1 in the finals to the hosts. Maduka Okoye excused himself from the Super Eagles after his poor showing in AFCON 2021 in Cameroon in the Round of 16.

“I’m very well now. I feel 100 percent. The national team is an important thing for me and I want to return as soon as possible”. Okoye told Udinese website. “It was hard watching the Africa Cup of Nations from home but this is football “. Okoye added.

The Super Eagles have passed through goalkeeping crisis as Francis Uzoho couldn’t impress over the last few years while Maduka Okoye also disappointed in AFCON 2021 especially in the Round 16 game where Nigeria lost to Tunisia courtesy Youssef Msakni’s strike.

The German born Nigeria goalie received a lot of bashing from Nigerians following that loss as he opted out of World Cup 2022 playoffs against Ghana where the Black Stars beat Super Eagles to the ticket. Maduka Okoye has missed out in the Nigeria squad for almost 2 years after his last game in AFCON 2021.

Stanley Nwabali of Chippa United stepped in as the number 1 goalkeeper of the Super Eagles in AFCON 2023 where he had his debut tournament and massively improved the goalkeeping department as they made it all the way the finals by conceding only 4 goal where they lost to Ivory Coast in the finals.

Maduka Okoye will face a tough competition in his quest to be the number 1 goalkeeper of Nigeria if he returns because of Nwabali’s great exploits.

By: Awal Mohammed Hudu

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