Super Eagles swoop for Shola
Despite having represented England up to Under 21 level, it looks like Shola Ameobi may be realising his World Cup dream this summer in South Africa. However, rather than being in Fabio Capello's squad, Shola looks to have made the swap to play for his birth country Nigeria instead.
Speaking about Nigeria's, and potentially his own, involvement in the African Cup of Nations that would decimate his NUFC involvement at that time, Shola said:
"2010 is a big year for Nigeria. The African Nations Cup is the same for us as the European Championships is in Europe. It`s a tournament I would love to play in. It was a great honour for me to represent England at Under-21 level, and my mum and dad were so proud of me, but they would love to see me play for Nigeria.
It`s not about changing allegiances. I`ve got Nigerian roots and I`m proud of my country, the country where I was born and spent the first five or six years of my life.
Playing at the World Cup is the pinnacle of any player`s career. It`s what you dream of, and if I can do that with Nigeria then that would be fantastic for me. They have been in touch before to see whether I was interested. In the past, I chose not to, so I could concentrate on helping Newcastle.
But I have reached a stage in my career where I would love to play international football, and realistically it`s not going to happen with England. It has been frustrating to have missed the last few games, but I`m coming back and should be fully fit in the next two or three weeks."