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‘Maduka Okoye can start in goal for Super Eagles’ – Stanley Nwabali

Chippa United goalie embraces team spirit over competition

Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali has stated that he sees no reason to compete with Maduka Okoye for a starting spot in the national team.

Nwabali, who gained significant recognition during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, emphasized that his focus is on the team’s success rather than personal rivalry.

During his debut international competition at AFCON 2023, Nwabali emerged as one of Nigeria’s standout players.

He was called up by former Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro due to Francis Uzoho’s frequent mistakes, which had repeatedly cost the team. Seizing the opportunity, Nwabali kept four clean sheets and saved two penalties, solidifying his position as a top goalkeeper for Nigeria.

Since then, the Chippa United goalkeeper has cemented his place as the Super Eagles’ first-choice goalkeeper. However, the return of Maduka Okoye, who enjoyed an impressive season with Udinese, keeping five clean sheets in 21 appearances, has raised questions about Nwabali’s status on the team.

Okoye’s recent performances earned him a call-up to Finidi George’s squad for the June 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin.

Maduka Okoye

Despite the potential competition, Nwabali remains unfazed. Speaking to Lagos Talks, he expressed his support for Okoye and the importance of team cohesion. “There’s no debate. If Maduka can give what he’s giving Udinese to the country, then he should play. It’s not like a club side, where you see a new signing and you talk about fighting. No. This is the country we are playing for; we are representing this green, white, green, and we want to see everyone happy,” Nwabali said.

Nwabali’s attitude reflects a commitment to the Super Eagles’ advancement and unity, prioritizing national success over individual competition.

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