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Unassuming Ameobi Set To Star In Brazil

8 years ago
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Despite yet another desperately disappointing domestic campaign, Newcastle fans will be able to cheer on several of their under-achieving stars at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Fabricio Coloccini could well be lining up for Argentina, among the favourites for glory in the World Cup betting markets, Cheick Tiote for Ivory Coast and, rather incongruously, Shola Ameobi, for Nigeria.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has included Ameobi in his provisional squad and the shot-shy forward could be set to feature against Argentina, Iran and Bosnia.

The 32-year-old had failed to score in the Premier League this season until managing to find the net twice of late, in last month’s 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City and in the 3-0 win against relegated Cardiff City.

That brings his tally of league goals for United to 53 in 317 first-team appearances since making his debut in September 2000.

Quite how Ameobi has managed to stay at St James’ Park for so long remains a mystery to many people – his most prolific campaign came in 2009-10 when he managed ten (Championship) goals – but he’s remained a part of Alan Pardew’s plans.

Despite representing England at Under-21 level, Ameobi declared his interest in playing for Nigeria, the country of his birth, in 2009, and he made his international debut for the Super Eagles three years later.

The reigning African champions will be making their fifth appearance at football’s showpiece tournament and Keshi has turned to several other stars who are currently plying their trade in England, including John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Peter Odemwingie.

Papiss Cisse misses out on the World Cup action though as Ivory Coast knocked Senegal out in the World Cup qualifiers, plus the striker has just had an operation on a fractured patella.

YohanCabaye, now of course at Paris St Germain, should earn a place in Didier Deschamps’ squad along with Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko, but Hatem Ben Arfa is very unlikely to feature.

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