Nigeria U23

Dream Team

Nigeria Olympic team are better known as Dream Team V after the original Dream Team won an historic Gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

A lot is expected of the current team, with some even suggesting this team could go all the way like the class ’96 that paraded the likes of Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, Sunday Oliseh and Daniel Amokachi.

The team led by former international defender Austin Eguavoen eliminated Equatorial Guinea, Liberia and Tanzania to reach the final qualifying tournament in Morocco.

They open their campaign in Morocco against host nation in a group that also includes Senegal and Algeria.

The outcome of their opening game will set the tone for the remainder of their quest to feature at London 2012.

It will be a weakened team in North Africa as several European clubs refused to release their players for the U23 competition because it is not listed on the international calendar.

Joel Obi (Inter Milan/Italy), Anthony Ujah (Mainz/Germany), Lukman Haruna (Dynamo Kiev/Ukraine), Nnamdi Oduamadi (Torino/Italy), Ahmed Musa (VVV Venlo/Netherlands), Ekigho Ehiosun (Samsunspor/Turkey) and Rabiu Ibrahim (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands) were all blocked by their clubs from featuring at the final qualifiers.

However, star player Nosa Igiebor from Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv has made it to Morocco along with the likes of Parma defensive midfielder Obiora Nwankwo, Terna Suswan of Vitoria Setubal of Portugal and Michael Babatunde, who is based in Ukraine.

Several other players from the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) like Gbolahan Salami, Ayo Saka, Markson Ojobo, Jude Aneke and Osas Okoro now have to step up to take their chance at this level.