Shakhtar Donetsk striker Julius Aghahowa has revealed he has not given up on a recall to World Cup-bound Nigeria, even after such a long absence.
Aghahowa, who made his Nigeria debut in 2000, has told Goal.com that, although the Super Eagles now parade several younger strikers and that he last played for the country three years ago, he would welcome a return to international action.
"Realistically, we have a number of very good young players who can deliver. As a human being I cannot predict what will happen tomorrow. If I am recalled, I will definitely answer," Aghahowa said.
The 27-year-old striker has netted 14 goals in 32 matches for Nigeria but has been overlooked by national team selectors after a rather difficult time at English Premier League outfit Wigan Athletic two seasons ago.
Aghahowa admitted at a stage in the qualification race for the 2010 World Cup that he had lost hope of the Eagles securing a ticket to South Africa.
"Anybody who does not want to sound political will tell you the truth. As for me, I never knew they would make it, not because I do not like Nigeria, but I must be sincere that I lost hope about them qualifying, because qualification was out of our hands. I did not like the team’s approach, especially that they had to wait till the last game before making it. So our qualification was a miracle, it was sheer divine intervention," he said.
"Again, if you looked at the team critically, their results were not bad. They did not lose a game in the qualifying series, except they recorded too many draws. I think Tunisia’s leadership of the group from the beginning created tension among the coaches and the players."
Aghahowa now wants Nigerians to support embattled coach Shuaibu Amodu.
"It is important for the team to commence early preparation, because this is crucial for success," offered the player, who scored Nigeria's only goal at the 2002 World Cup.
"I do not understand why some people are calling for the sack of Amodu. What else do we expect from a team who went through the qualifiers without losing a match? I cannot decide for the Nigeria Football Federation, but if we are to tell ourselves the truth, Amodu and his team should be allowed to stay. They have done well to be given the chance and should be given the required support to do more for the nation."
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