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Nwabali welcomes Super Eagles goalkeeping rivalry with Okoye

Nwabali welcomes Super Eagles goalkeeping rivalry with Okoye

Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali has welcomed the return of Maduka Okoye to the national team, embracing the healthy competition and rivalry between the two shot-stoppers ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic.

Speaking about Okoye’s inclusion, Nwabali expressed his enthusiasm, saying it was nice seeing the Udinese goalkeeper back in the national team.

“I’m not under any pressure, I have watched a couple of Maduka’s games, he is a very good goalkeeper and he is also my brother despite (the fact) that this is the first time I’m working with him, and it’s nice representing your country,” Nwabali said.

Okoye was last invited to the national team last October for the friendly games against Mozambique and Saudi Arabia.

Within that period, Nwabali who got his first start for Nigeria at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast earlier this year has been in great form. He helped the Eagles win silver medal at the AFCON, keeping four cleansheats and also making two saves in the penalty shootout win over South Africa in the quarter final.

Acknowledging the benefits of having two quality goalkeepers vying for the starting spot, Nwabali emphasized the positive impact it would have on the team.

“Talking about him being around, it’s something that’s going to motivate everyone, the two goalkeepers to just push, because if you have a team where two goalkeepers are good, you don’t have any problem where you say I want to put this person, I don’t want to put this person. Him being part of the team, it’s nice and it’s a welcome (development),” he added.

Nwabali also praised Okoye’s impressive form for his club this season, adding, “It’s nice, because ever since this season, he has been doing well for his club, so, I just feel to have him here is nice.”

The healthy competition between Nwabali and Okoye is expected to bring out the best in both goalkeepers, as they push each other to new heights in their pursuit of securing the number one spot for the Super Eagles.

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