Nigeria 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Squad

Nigeria names strong 25-man squad for 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against South Africa and Benin

As the Qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup are around the corner, African powerhouse Nigeria have named their 25-man squad for the games against South Africa and Benin.

The Super Eagles have had multiple managerial changes over the last few months. Jose Peseiro vacated his post for Augustine Eguavoen, but the latter was replaced swiftly by Finidi George, who will lead Nigeria going forward. Let’s take a look at Nigeria 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Squad:

Osimhen and Lookman included in 25-man Nigeria squad

Newly-appointed coach Finidi George reiterated his team’s desire and ambitions to play an attacking brand of football. This will be in heavy contrast to the defensive tactics deployed during AFCON 2024, where Nigeria won most of their games with a 1-0 scoreline.

Speaking to the media, George said,

“With the calibre of the players that we have, we cannot play defensive football. We have to strike the right balance between defence and attack.”

Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman will be raring to represent his nation after scoring a sensational hat-trick against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League Final to give his team the win. He will be joined by Napoli marksman Victor Osimhen, who has had a slightly quiet season by his standards.

In midfield, George will have to pick from a wide array of players, with Wilfred Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Alex Iwobi and Raphael Onyedika some of the key options.

While most players from international leagues have made it, George also gave a first call-up to Remo Stars wing-back Sadiq Ismail, who has bagged 12 assists in the Nigerian domestic league so far.

In goal, Maduka Okoye returns after missing the AFCON, with Francis Uzoho set to miss out.

Nigeria 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Squad:

Goalkeepers: Stanley Nwabali (Chippa United, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Udinese FC, Italy); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC).

Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Sadiq Ismael (Remo Stars FC); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Benjamin Tanimu (Ihefu SC, Tanzania).

Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Alhassan Yusuf Abdullahi (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England); Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (Hatayspor, Turkey).

Forwards: Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Paul Onuachu (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France).

Nigeria 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Squad:
Nigeria lost the AFCON 2024 Final 2-1 despite leading 1-0. (Getty Images)

Qualification scenario for Nigeria

Nigeria currently sits in third place in Group C of the African Qualifiers. They have already played two games but drawn both. They faced Lesotho at home, drawing 1-1 after Semi Ajayi equalized in the second half. Three days later, they faced Zimbabwe away from home, with Kelechi Iheanacho scoring the equalizer in the exact same minute as Ajayi in the second half.

With eight games left to play, the Super Eagles will look to win a few games on the bounce to put themselves in a better position. They are favourites to win against South Africa as well as Benin.