…as 19 Eagles aririve in camp
The Portuguese national team began their preparations for the friendly against the Super Eagles at the Cidade do Futebol in Lisbon, The PUNCH reports.
Our correspondent learnt that 26 players, including Manchester United want-away star, Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Pepe trained under the orders of Fernando Santos on Monday.
Rui Patrico, Diogo Dalot, Joao Cancelo, Antonio Silva, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, Nuno Mendes, Vitinha and Bruno Fernandes are other players who also took part in the training.
“The Portuguese team began their training (for the Nigeria friendly) on Monday with all the players listed in the World Cup squad,” Portuguese journalist Diogo André told The PUNCH.
“Every Portuguese is looking forward to the game as more than 44,000 tickets have already been sold for the match.”
Meanwhile, 11 Super Eagles players also trained in Alges on Monday ahead of Thursday’s international friendly against the Portuguese, with four others namely Frank Onyeka, Terem Moffi, Chidozie Awaziem and Bright Osayi-Samuel joining the squad later to increase the number of Nigerians in camp to 15.
The game, which is the first meeting between both countries, will hold at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon on Thursday.
The players who trained under the watchful eyes of coach Jose Peseiro are William Troost-Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Kevin Akpoguma, Oghenekaro Etebo, Bruno Onyemaechi, Ebube Duru, Emmanuel Dennis, Paul Onuachu, Ademola Lookman, Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo.
“Portugal vs Nigeria International Friendly. Update! In camp: Ekong, Iwobi, Onyemaechi, Akpoguma, Etebo, Duru, Dennis, Onuachu, Lookman, Bassey, Aribo.
Other players are expected to arrive on Tuesday,” the Nigeria Football Federation tweeted on Monday.
The Eagles, who are seeking their first win in a FIFA Grade A friendly this year, are without injured duo Victor Osimhen and Olisa Ndah for the high-profile friendly.
According to the NFF, Cyriel Dessers, who recently recovered from an injury, had been called up to replace Osimhen, while Chidozie Awaziem – Nigeria’s highest scoring defender in Europe with four goals – takes the place of Ndah for the encounter.
Osimhen is currently the top scorer in the Italian Serie A with nine goals from 11 games, with six strikes in his last five games.
He also has three assists to his name and has scored once in the UEFA Champions League.