The two nations have confirmed a scheduled international friendly match for July, but its timing may be a blessing in disguise for the home-based Eagles
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has lamented that the timing of Nigeria’s friendly match against Mexico could deprive him of the services of the majority of his Europe-based stars.
This development, the Franco-German tactician says, will force him to rely almost entirely on footballers plying their trade in the Nigerian Professional Football League.
Rohr has often been criticised for snubbing players from the Nigerian league. Still, the former Bordeaux manager recently opened the national team doors to a few, including Enyimba’s duo of goalkeeper John Noble and winger Anayo Iwuala.
Iwuala and Noble join a 31-man squad of mostly foreign-based players invited for the Super Eagles friendly clash against Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions billed for Austria on June 4.
But by the time Nigeria file out to trade tackles with Mexico, many Super Eagles regulars will be on vacation or preseason engagements with their European clubs ahead of the new campaign, effectively ruling them out of the international clash.
And Rohr has admitted that he will likely call on players from the Nigerian domestic league for the fixture against the CONCACAF Gold Cup holders.
“To get the Super Eagles in Europe is impossible,” Rohr told ESPN.
“They will all be in pre-season with their clubs. So I will be able only to make a selection of players from Nigeria.”
Nigeria has never beaten Mexico in five previous meetings with the North American giants.
El Tri have claimed two victories over the Super Eagles, with three other matches ending in a draw.