Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi was among the first set of players to arrive the Asaba camp of Nigeria’s senior national team on Sunday ahead of this month’s Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be hosted by Egypt.
The team’s pre-tournament camp opened at the Delta State capital on Sunday morning with Mikel, who played for English Championship side Middlesbrough last term among the first set of players to arrive.
It is almost a year that the former Chelsea midfielder last played for Nigeria – his last appearance being against Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – but was named by head coach Gernot Rohr in his 25-man provisional squad for the tournament last month.
England based trio; Leon Balogun, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Oghenekaro Etebo were also among the early arrivals while wingers Samuel Kalu and Daddy Moses Simon arrived on the opening day of camp opening as well.
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Other players that arrived on Sunday include the patriotic John Ogu Ugochukwu, Germany based left back Jamilu Collins, centre back Chidozie Awaziem and in-demand striker Victor Osimhen.
The remaining fifteen players are expected to join the team on Monday morning with full training session scheduled to commence same day.
While in Asaba, the team will camp at the Golden Tulip Hotel and will face another AFCON participants, the Brave Warriors of Zimbabwe in a pre-tournament friendly game at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Saturday, June 8.
The team will depart for Egypt on Sunday, 9th June aboard a chartered aircraft, set up a final training camp in the city of Ismailia and tackle Africa’s number one –ranked team, Senegal in their final pre-AFCON friendly on Sunday, June 16.
Nigeria are drawn in Group B at the biennial championship alongside debutants Burundi, Madagascar and Guinea with the Super Eagles’ opening game billed for the Alexandria Stadium against Burundi on June 22.