LAGOS (Reuters) – Defender Onome Ebi was named to play at her fifth women’s World Cup when she was included on Saturday in Nigeria’s squad for next month’s finals in France.
Ebi, 36, first competed at the 2003 women’s World Cup in the U.S. and then at subsequent editions in China, Germany and Canada.
She is the first African to achieve the feat.
Three-time African women’s Footballer of the Year Asisat Oshoala will be the Super Falcons’ key player as they take on Norway in Reims on June 8 and then South Korea and hosts France in Group A.
She featured for Barcelona in the women’s Champions League final defeat to Olympique Lyonnais in Budapest last week.
The Nigerian squad features 15 foreign-based players in a much-changed look since Swedish-born coach Thomas Dennerby took over 18 months ago.
Nigeria have been past the first round only once in seven previous World Cup finals appearances.
Goalkeepers: Alaba Jonathan (Bayelsa Queens), Chiamaka Nnadozie, Tochukwu Oluehi (both Rivers Angels)
Defenders: Ngozi Ebere (Arna Bjornar), Onome Ebi (Henan Huisanhang), Faith Michael (Pitea IF), Osinachi Ohale (Vaxjo), Chidinma Okeke (FC Robo)
Midfielders: Halimatu Ayinde (Eskilstuna United), Rita Chikwelu (Kristianstand), Ogonna Chukwudi (Djurgardens), Evelyn Nwabuoku (Rivers Angels), Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna United), Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons)
Forwards: Rasheedat Ajibade (Alvadsnes), Chinwendu Ihezuo (Henana Huisanhang), Anam Imo (Malmo FC Rosengard), Uchenna Kanu (Southeastern University), Alice Ogebe (Rivers Angels), Desire Oparanozie (En Avant Guingamp), Francisca Ordega (Shanghai W), Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona), Chinaza Uchendu (Sporting Braga).
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Clare Fallon)