Amaju Pinnick: I ‘Forced’ Rohr To Select Ahmed Musa In Squad For 2018 World Cup

Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the immediate past President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has revealed how he ensured current Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa made the 23-man squad to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018.

Pinnick explained in an interview with ThisDay newspaper how he told Super Eagles coach at the time, Gernot Rohr that Musa must be in the team to the World Cup.

‘I know a lot of Nigerian born players in Europe who are regretting not emulating what (Willaim) Troost-Ekong, (Alex) Iwobi, (Admola) Lookman and others did, opting to play for Nigeria.

‘You will not believe that after that final in Abidjan, a top Nigerian-born player called me and was full of regrets not opting to play for Nigeria. He told me that if he had paired Osimhen, there was no way he would not have scored three goals in that final against Côte d’Ivoire.

‘One thing that I keep telling these players is that when your club does not treat you well, you have your national team to fall back on. I told that player the story of Ahmed Musa who faced challenges at Leicester City when he had some matrimonial issues.

‘Because he was not playing at the club level, our former coach, Gernot Rohr said he didn’t want him in Super Eagles. I said no, you can not do that coach. Ahmed Musa is a national team player who gives 100 per cent of his efforts to the country. Because he was not playing did not mean we drop him from the team.

‘At the end of the day, the coach accepted my position and Ahmed Musa featured in that team and became the head corner stone that was initially rejected. He became the hero of our team at the World Cup.

‘As a federation president, you must be involved in the affairs of your players, their welfare and what is happening in their homes. That gives you ideas of what is happening to them psychologically,’ said Pinnick who said he has no regrets employing Jose Peseiro as Super Eagles coach before he left as President.

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