Torino midfielder Joel Obi has set his sights on being at the World Cup this summer with Nigeria.
The 26-year-old was omitted from the last tournament in Brazil, but took a step closer to realising that ambition last month by playing in the Super Eagles two friendlies.
Obi, currently on an injury- free run with Italian side Torino, has scored six goals in 24 appearances this season and is keen to continue that consistency run for his country. I’ve had a period when injury robbed me of playing for my country but with Russia in mind, it would just be unbelievable to finally be playing at a major tournament for Nigeria
“This big tournament is the ultimate ambition of every professional footballer and I hope to work harder to fulfil that dream,” Obi, who made his Nigeria return last month after a four-year absence, told BBC Sport.
“I was heartbroken for missing the World Cup in Brazil, but I now have another big opportunity four years later. “Coach [Gernot] Rohr has made it clear that everyone must earn their place in the team.
“That’s equally encouraging and challenging, so I’m looking forward to the competition for a spot.”
Regarded as one of Nigeria’s finest creative midfielders, Obi started his career at Italian giants Inter Milan – where he rose from the youth set-up to the first team in 2010.