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Anichebe begs keshi



Nigeria striker Victor Anichebe insists he has not been asked to return
to the national side for the World Cup.
The 25-year-old recently put his international career on hold to
“manage his body” and to focus on his club.
Super Eagles media officer Ben Alaiya revealed coach Stephen
Keshi is hoping to persuade the West Brom forward to change his
But Anichebe told BBC Sport: “I haven’t spoken to anybody, that
goes from the federation to Stephen Keshi himself.”
However, he has not ruled out a return to the fold – and he realises
the tournament in Brazil may be his last chance to play at the biggest
event in football.
“We will see what happens,” said Anichebe, who missed out on
selection for South Africa 2010. “Right now I’m playing well, feeling
fit, strong and helping my team in the situation we are currently in at
the moment.
“If I continue to play well from now to the end of the season then we
can take it from there.
“I’m grateful that the coach says he is willing to give me a chance, but
I think everybody in Nigeria and around the world knows what I
can do and capable of.
“The Premier League is watched around the world so it’s easy to see
what qualities I can bring to the team.
“If not, there are so many other talented Nigerians around the world
that would also love the opportunity to represent their country and
play in such a prestigious tournament.
“Yes the World Cup only comes once in every four years and it could
be my last opportunity – this is something I’m aware of but I haven’t
spoken to anybody.”
A former England youth international, Anichebe switched allegiance
and played his first game for Nigeria in March 2008.
He scored on his debut in a 2-0 win over South Africa to help them
reach the 2008 Olympics and was then part of the squad that went on
to win silver in Beijing.
In his last appearance for the Super Eagles, a 2-0 win over
Madagascar in 2011, he suffered a groin problem. Since then he has
opted to concentrate on securing regular first-team football at club
That decision has led to criticism from some Nigeria supporters but
Anichebe rejects any suggestions he does not care about the country.
“I believe I have some good fans in Nigeria that understood and
respected my decision to concentrate on getting fit,” he said.
“Some players would have just joined the team, not in great condition
but for personal gains. I see the bigger picture in things and it’s worked
for me.
“Nigeria also won the Nations Cup in 2013 and we got to discover
other talents that we may not have got the chance to see.
“So any ‘fan’ that sees me as unpatriotic is just being unfair because if
you check the meaning of patriotism it’s the love and devotion you
show for your country and I love Nigeria.
“I grew up in England but only see myself as a Nigerian and my
long-term objective is a lot bigger than this because I hope to give back
to my country.

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