Ighalo proves age is just a number with FIFA Club World Cup performancePublished: February 14, 2022
Former Manchester United striker Jude Odion Ighalo will be part of Nigeria's 2022 FIFA World Cup playoffs next month against the Black Stars of Ghana as confirmed by the Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick.
The Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia new signing was not allowed by former club Al Shabab to represent Nigeria at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon for what the club described as a late invitation for the player.
You can bet smart with Bwin and put your money where your mouth is: Ighalo is an ageless wine and his goals just could take the Eagles to the 2022 FIFA World Cup just as his goals were hugely responsible for Nigeria's qualification to the 2018 Africa Cup of Nations.
Whether Ighalo could have made it for the Ghana fixtures in March if he was still a player of Al Shabab is another matter entirely.
Before then, Ighalo will be hard pressed to impress his team in the Saudi Arabian topflight.
The Nigerian produced a great individual performance in the semifinal of the FIFA Club World Cup against Chelsea which his club lost 1-0.
In its match review of the game, world football governing body Fifa made a glowing remark about Ighalo's outing - a sweet praise for the striker which might just make some European clubs send their scouts on journeys to Saudi Arabia ahead of the summer transfer window.
Ighalo's team may have lost but their display was promising. Ighalo played a lad in his 20s and the fans' boisterous support from the stands was breathtaking.
"I just met with @ighalojude, the highest goalscorer at the 2019 edition of the AFCON, now playing and still scoring goals for Saudi Arabia’s biggest football club," Pinnick tweeted accompanied by a photograph of him and Ighalo.
"Odion has assured that playing for his country will always come first and he is ready to ensure that we do play at this year’s @FIFAWorldCup in Qatar," Pinnick further said.
Ighalo reversed his decision to quit international football last November and was included in the squad to face Liberia and Cape Verde in crucial World Cup qualifiers.
Many believe that he will stop the growth of a number of younger strikers but his dressing room presence is sufficient to inspire confidence in a team that feel they ought to go beyond the round of 16 stage of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
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