Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has cleared the air on concerns that local league players are not getting invited to the national team under him.
Peseiro said he had nothing against players plying their football trade in Nigeria, adding that if he saw a player doing brilliantly in the local league he would invite him to the national team.
He disclosed that only quality players in the local league will be invited into the national team.
Peseiro made the disclosure on Saturday in Abidjan at the team’s news conference ahead of the Super Eagles’ African Cup of Nations (AFCON) opening match with Equatorial Guinea.
The Super Eagles will take on their Equatorial Guinea counterpart at 4:00 p.m. local time on Sunday.
The Portuguese urged Nigerians to understand that every player invited is from Nigeria, irrespective of where he plies his trade.
Expressing his wish to see more games in the local league, Peseiro observed that the few good players in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) leave the country “after just a good season”.
“I have not said that no player in the local league can play for the Super Eagles, but I need to see if you have the qualities and capacities to play.
“Ojo is in the team, but if I see other players with quality, I will invite them. We coaches are not stupid.
“I need to choose the best players; if a local league player is better than the one outside, I will call him,” the coach said.
He also said the leagues in Africa have to improve in view of the continent’s talent quality.
The Portuguese has been under attack for failing to invite players in the local league into the national soccer team.
However, he has explained that his counterparts in other African countries do not have more than one or two local players in their teams while calling for an improvement in Africa’s local leagues