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Azeez Excited With Super Eagles Recall After Five-Year Absence

Azeez Excited With Super Eagles Recall After Five-Year Absence

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Granada midfielder Ramon Azeez is delighted to be back in the Super Eagles after five years.

Azeez, 26, was included in Nigeria’s 23-man squad for next month’s friendly against the Selacao of Brazil on Thursday.

“The manager [Diego Martínez] has shown great faith and belief in me,” Azeez told BBC Sport.

“I also understand La Liga better now than before so everything leads to this.

“I think the support of my teammates, everyone at the club and a new mentality has helped. It is always an honour to play for my country and to be recognised by coach [Gernot] Rohr.”

Azeez has scored two goals in four league appearances for Granada this season.

A former youth international, Azeez has been in Spanish football since 2011, rising through the ranks at Almeria before short spell at CD Lugo led to a switch to Granada in January.

Nigeria will be meeting Brazil on 13 October in Singapore, for the second time at senior level following a 3-0 defeat in a friendly in June 2003 in Abuja.

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  • BestSports 2 years ago

    He plays good passes and intelligent moves. He has come to stay! He can keep the ball and score goals! He is now experienced after achieving great success with Nigeria youth teams. Welcome on board azeez! Make you no go fall hand o.

    • Yes, I agree with you.

      One of his key qualities is movement. I drifts into key areas.

      His passes are not bad either. Plus he has an eye for goals.

      I think we are starting to see serious competition for Iwobi in the attacking midfield.

      Both Azeez and Aribo are attacking midfielders by trade and both are playing high level football.

      If Iwobi snoozes, he loses his starting spot to either of this two players.

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    I don’t totally agree azzez and aribo are pure attacking midfielders.. They look more as central midfielders.. The only player who can rival iwobi is eze from qpr.. For now iwobi is untouchable.. Someone who sent captain Mikel to retirement after more than 10 years in the team is not a joke

    • Yep never known as attacking midfielder. He played as a DM in our youth team and when I used to follow Granada yrs back,he was also playing as a DM.Has something changed recently?
      If nothing has changed,the Rohr I know will use Azeez as sub for Ndidi instead of Esiti.
      Kelechi Nwakali is another player that will go with Iwobi toe to toe. Infact,we wud be confused who is better.

      Azeez deserved a call up before now bcos of his quality and the league he plays for.
      Overall,I have always said we have players to adequately rival our first team.And gradually we are nownow moving away from the calamity of d unbalanced squad to d last Worldcup.

    • Glory 2 years ago

      Lool @ Ololo now you showing good stuff, football wise. Iwobi super untouchable. Jah bless him. Sure Ebere Eze is next to rival him. These are pure ballers.

  • Hi Oge,

    I can only bow to your superior knowledge and that of Olodo.

    You see, the reasons why I touted Azeez as an attacking midfielder are as follows:

    1) Against Espanyol on 01 September, Azeez replaced Vico in 56 minutes to play right behind Soldado the center forward. This was a further forward attacking midfield role and guess what, he scored shortly after coming on.

    2) Against Barcelona on 21 September, Azeez started and played right behind Soldado again in a further forward attacking midfield role (exactly the same role that Iwobi played for Nigeria in the afcon in exactly the same formation).

    Guess what, he scored.

    3) In 2014 World Cup against Iran, we had Onazi, Mikel and Azeez holding the midfield with Azeez being the furthest forward of the 3.

    So, I think there is some credibility in the assumption that Azeez has experience playing as an attacking midfielder even if he predominantly plays as a center midfielder.

    He has developed the knack of being cunning and just running into space to wreck havoc.

    Judging by the number of goals he has scored thus far this season in the prestigious Spanish La Liga from a further forward attacking midfield role, I repeat, he can give Iwobi a run for his money in that role for the national team.


    • Sorry, I meant Ololo and not Olodo.

      • Some players are verry onlucky in this football game. Expecially with the supereagles. Examples are kelechi nwakali and brother. Azubuike. Ebere eze and musa muhammed. These guys with their tilents are surpose to be in europeans top teams. I think their agents should do more, nwakali is better than aribo or even esiti or etebo but the clubs are not seeing it. Musa muhamed should have been one of the greatest supereagles right back but poor guy dont have the support expecialy by rohr. I think eze is more tilented than iwobi my reason is his ability to score range goals also free kicks. That guy nickname is ball, not for qpr at all. Azubuike a player that won caf best youth player and even one for the future. Rohr is just waisting is tilent for no reason. Imagine instead of johe ogu if it was azu that pair with mikel against madagasca it would have been a great game for us.

    • Thanks at Mr Deo,we are learning from men like u o.
      I understand ur drift better,o yes u are right dat he has played as an AM,even wit aplomb at times.But dis is no surprise,if u watched him well as a nmba4 two qualities standout -his crisp passing and dat knack for arriving at d box late,to score lyk Aaron Ramsey.It has always been in him. He was like a slightly more atacking version of Oliseh and he still is(and this is where I differ from u).
      However @Ololo has helped me outline my mindset on this.His view,I wholly support sir

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    Exactly Mr doe.. I noticed that in the game he played against barca.. He was played far ahead other midfielders.. I was a bit surprised though.. But I think it’s purely typical Granada tactics.. They play a lone striker with most players mainly on within their half.. They defend more than attacking.. Azzez was defending so hard in the games and advances on counter when ever they hold the ball.
    But I honestly feel he doesn’t posses the pure attacking midfielde attributes like the one we see in iwobi.. Don’t forget for years after Jay Jay okocha retirement we were playing defensive midfielders in attacking midfield purely for one reason we never had any so we make do we what we had..

    • It’s easy for the essence of a narrative to be lost in so many words – Ololo.

      In international football, players don’t always have the luxury to play in their natural positions. They have to be flexible, dynamic and adaptable.

      Ramon Azeez can play as an attacking, centre or defensive midfielder which underscore his value to the team.

      Iwobi, for his part, can play as an attacking midfielder, left or right forward or even as a support striker – very valuable to the team indeed.

      This is not an Iwobi vs Azeez contest ; far from it!

      Rather, this is a celebration of multiple options that we have in the Super Eagles at the moment which I think any right thinking fan will be happy about.

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    Doe, you genuinely have a strong point and I agree with you almost 100 percent, but many football fans like myself would argue if azzez is purely or should I say dominantly an attacking midfielder.

    I prefer to respect everyone view because no two individual can ever be the same or reason alike, there must be some level of variation which is very physiologically Normal.

    Finally I would say, Whether azzez plays attacking midfield in his club which I see as a defensive playing club side, he cannot rival iwobi in the attacking midfield role. He looks for me as another version of etobo – strong, good pass, good ball recovery, and an eye for goals.

    I feel very sorry for etobo, his stop is heavily contested for. There is an aribo knocking and now an azzez.. But etobo would give food a run for their money.. Beautiful competition Brazil would see ball come next month.

    • I see your point, Olodo.

    • JimmyBall 2 years ago

      …Iwobi must learn how to hit his ball hard and shoot with accuracy. When he shoots it’s like one U-16 player… Off-target and often disappointing…

  • For me,great analysis you’ve just given all through on Azeez @Ololo.Let me therefore put the brakes on my addendum to your posts.

    I also share the sentiments of @collins id. Some players are just “unlucky”. If it were Brazil they wud call up such players,inspite of club issues.Well I guess we’ve got to endure. I really feel u collins id.

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    I want to welcome 2 new forumites to this esteemed forum.
    First is DOE – as in, doe a dear, a female dear? Or a relative of the late Samuel Doe?
    Second is OLODO – hmmmm. The meaning of OLODO in Yoruba is not a good thing oooo!
    This autocorrect thing na waya. We can’t blame it all on autocorrect though. Sometimes, we FATFINGER – that is, for example, pressing A instead of S, because both letters are side by side on the keyboard. How then do you explain pressing O instead of E, or D instead of L? HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!!! I laugh in Swahili. Is this a case of two fighting, adiye meji nja, albeit in a clandestine manner?
    Let us try to correctly spell each others names! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Larry 2 years ago

    Azeez is a versatile midfielder..
    He is skillful, he can defend, he’s got long range passes, positional play and great shooting ability.
    If well utilized, he will be a great addition to the SE.

  • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

    Chukwueze scored for Villarreal against Betis in the new rounds of LaLiga football. He gave his side a penalty and also scored a solo goal. I think the SuperEagles attack is almost settled with Chukwueze, Kalu and Osimhen in the first 11. Ndidi, Aribo, Iwobi in the middle. Aina, Collins, Ekong, Omeruo. However, Awaziem is pushing for a spot in that rearguard, but I implore the NFF to approach Tomori asap. Our first 11 seems ready and set. We now need to see who can be their capable substitutes in case of adversity going forward. From the look of things Musa will find it hard to displace either of Chukwueze and Kalu on the wings. Osimhen is currently untouchable as the SuperEagles top striker. The competition is very good for the future of the SuperEagles and it’s all down to the good work of the gaffer. 

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    Talking about the gaffer, I have mixed feelings about this upcoming Brazil friendly.
    On one hand, I’m obviously delighted that we have this opportunity. However, there is this feeling of foreboding I have. Not that the Brazil friendly might end up being an embarrassment for us. No, it is just a friendly, after all. And I believe we have a good squad, one that can give Brazil a good run for their money on a good day. What scares me is Rohr’s availability for us after the friendly. Rohr’s impressive results with Nigeria have already put him under the microscope, so to speak. There are quite a few clubs and countries that would love to inquire about Mr. Rohr’s availability. Surely, that desire will intensify if Rohr produces a good result against Brazil. This is a critical time in the development of the current Super Eagles squad. Hopefully, Rohr is inclined to HANG AROUND and finish what he started. Hopefully, the NFF would be willing to FIGHT to keep his services. At the end of the day, the chips will fall where they may. Hope Rohr stays. If he goes, then we need to replace him with a solid coach. Instead of recycling mediocrity and watching our football take several steps in the wrong direction, why not go for the very best? Why not approach Roberto Martinez of Belgium, for example, and offer to double whatever he is currently receiving from the Belgians? There are a few other names that come to mind. Realizing our dream of making at least the semifinal of world cup 2022 WILL NOT COME CHEAP. How far are we ready to go to make that dream a reality?

    • Bomboy 2 years ago

      Sorry to put it so bluntly to you dear Pompei: you are secretly wishing the coach would find a reason to leave so that a more formidable coach would come to take us to the next level.

      I know I will get a lot of stick for being so straight forward, but I can take whatever comes with speaking the truth.

      To set the record straight, I am all for it if the Coach leaves, as long as he is replaced with a better option.

      Have a great weekend!

      • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

        Bomboy. My guy on the other side of the divide I hear you. Hopefully one day Nigeria will be able to hire a Mourinho or a Klopp or a Guardiola or even a Martinez to come manage the SuperEagles. Unfortunately or rather fortunately Rohr will at least see through his contract with Nigeria. So for now he remains the undisputed gaffer and I believe he’s earned the right to continue what he has started. 

      • Pompei 2 years ago

        Bomboy, I am not secretly wishing for Rohr to leave. How can I wish for the best thing to happen to our football since Westerhof the Dutch-gerian to leave? No way. I’m hoping he stays. And if pressure comes from elsewhere, I’m hoping we have the will and the wherewithal to hold on to him. If it turns out that he leaves, we need a really good coach to continue where he left off, and even improve on his achievements. And that coach will not come cheap. Nothing good in this life comes cheap, unless you are extremely fortunate by being at the right place at the right time. To get the kind of coach that will take us to a world cup semis, we are going to have to pony up. Our people say BETTER SOUP, NA MONEY KILL AM. That’s what I’m saying bro.

    • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

      Pompei my brother. The problem is that Nigeria can never afford a Roberto Martinez or anything close to him in terms of coaching class. Meanwhile the difference between a Roberto Martinez and Gernot Rohr is very minimal and yet the NFF are still struggling to pay Rohr his salaries on time. It’s not as if we don’t have the money, but our administrators will always have their own share. Pinnick was just a little thrifty and shrewd as a business man that’s why he was able to get Rohr and Dennerby mostly for our football development and not necessarily winning at all cost. 

      The result at the moment is that we have a SuperEagles to be proud of, even though there’s quite some work to do before we can ever reach the Semifinals of the FIFA WorldCup. I really don’t think we can beat Brazil even on their worst day. However, I’m expecting something from the SuperEagles in this encounter. Who knows we may upset them on our day due to the never say die Nigerian DNA. That indeed as you rightly said will put Rohr on the football map if by any means the SuperEagles get a favorable result against the Samba Boys. 

      Irrespective of the results against Brazil I believe the SuperEagles are on the horizon and gradually ascending to the glory days under Rohr. I hope he stays and at least take this crop of potential talents to another AFCON and WorldCup then sayonara. I’m sure eventually after a while we will continue to have the nostalgia of what he did with the SuperEagles down the line. 

      • Pompei 2 years ago

        Ayphillydegreat, Martinez is currently paid circa 1 million Euros per annum by Belgium. There are individual Nigerians out there who can comfortably foot this bill. Perhaps even in this forum. You yourself might even be one of these moneybags, which is perhaps why you added DE GREAT to your name. I don’t see how Nigeria as a whole can’t afford this sum. Whichever way you look at it, we have to spend SOMETHING. They say TIME IS MONEY. With Rohr, we have to spend time, by giving him the time he needs to get us where we want to be. The alternative to Rohr is to spend some serious dough to hire a world class coach. What I don’t want to see is us cutting corners by hiring some misfit who will come and undo all the good work that has been done so far! Our national team is very dear to all of us. If you need eye surgery, will you go to just any doctor, or will you take the time and LOOK FOR THE FUNDS to access a quality surgeon? All these years gone by, we have been penny wise and pounds foolish about our football development. I say let’s be bullish and spend the time and money needed to realize our dreams. Or we can sit down and and take the cheapest route, and continue to wallow in mediocrity and the misery of unfulfilled potential.

    • ClementOke 2 years ago

      Double his wages?
      Where we wan see money?

  • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

    The Nigeria Football Federation have unveiled a list of 23 players invited for the international friendly against Brazil at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13.

    Allnigeriasoccer.com has compiled seven interesting observations about the roster.

    1) As of Thursday, September 26, the average of the players on the roster is 23.4 years while thirteen players are aged 23 years or under. The 1999-born goalkeeper Maduka Okoye is the youngest player in the squad.

    2) The squad contains players coming from 12 different countries : Spain (4), England (4), France (3), Belgium (2), Germany (2), Italy (2), Czech Republic, Greece, Scotland, Nigeria, Cyprus, Turkey.

    3) Four players have played in the final of a FIFA U17 World Cup; Kenneth Omeruo, Ramon Azeez, Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze.

    4) With 52 international caps to his name, Kenneth Omeruo is the most experienced player in the squad while the uncapped players are Maduka Okoye and Peter Olayinka.

    5) Five players were born abroad : Okoye, Ola Aina, Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi and Aribo.

    6) Six players in the shape of Kalu, Dennis, Etebo, Esiti, Simon and Shehu share the same agent, DW Sports Management.

    7) Glasgow Rangers midfielder Aribo has racked up the most minutes this season (1,193), followed by Semi Ajayi (810) and Peter Olayinka (707).

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      Observation number 2 gives me so much joy. Just look at how many players we now have playing in the top 5 leagues in Europe. This is not unconnected to the steady progress and guidance the SE has made in the last 3 years, butressed by the fact that players invites now are essentially based on merit.

      We are gradually getting there and this is the time when we can realistically lay claim to being true contenders at continental level.

      Hopefully if we get to that level when the bulk of our players play in the top 4 of these top 5 leagues, then we can realistically start dreaming of playing in the world cup semis.

    • Ikeben 2 years ago

      Good facts for proper analysis. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ikeben 2 years ago

      Some points are clear from the above facts
      1. These players where picked purely by merit and not by bribery or federal character as some shallow minded fans try to insinuate. So consequently if you favorite player is not yet called p. All he need to do is to keep working hard and also try to get a club in the top 5 leagues and push to be in the first 11, he will definitely be called

      2. The bulk of the players can still represent us at the Olympics.

      3. We have a good mix of home grown and foreign groomed talents.

      • Christopher ndu5 2 years ago

        I think gernot rohr is doing great with our Super Eagles and being matured both with handling the press,players and staff.But for Nwakali he is a good talent but should focus on the assignment of the under 23 dream team and wait for his opportunity with the super eagles.osimen is an emergency for the SE because of the limitations in the striking department.He is fast, strong and the propensity to be the upgrade version of yekini. The only player I still question is esiti in the team, looks heavy and stiff.But let the no10 be reserved for Iwobi the Jay Jay in the making even an upgrade. Even Jay Jay at some point lacked goal sense until his experience at club and country level.much to talk about but saved for later. 

    • Larry 2 years ago

      Clearly, the quality of the team is indisputable. The question is who becomes the captain ?
      Obviously, imeruo remains the clear choice to lead the team against brazil.
      52 games with great leadership and professionalism really matter.

    • Pompei 2 years ago

      Nice analysis. Our boys are young, and they are playing in the top leagues in the world. What I particularly like about this setup is the INVITATIONS BASED STRICTLY ON MERIT. The future is looking bright, indeed. But this bright future can easily be lost by a wrong decision. The catalyst for all the progress we’ve had recently has been Rohr. To remove him without a capable replacement will likely see us nosedive in the rankings, and we will be back to struggling to qualify for major tournaments, and calculator sales will once again be on the rise. Never may that happen!

      • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

        There is no captaincy problems in the Eagles at the moment. Before the world cup, it was Mikel, Musa and Onazi in that order. After the world cup, it was Musa, Ekong and Balogun.
        Before During Afcon, it was Mikel, Musa and Ekong….and right now, it has reverted to Musa, Ekong and Balogun. In the absence of Musa, Balogun captains the team.

        Let’s not Stoke captaincy crises where there is none. There is no rule where it is stated that the player with the longest caps must captain the team. There were older players in the eagles…the likes of Henry nwosu and Wole Odegbami wen a young lad like Keshi was picked as captain in the early 80s. There were older players in the team,like adepoju and finish when Okechukwu took over from keshi and when Amokachi took over from Okechukwu. Adepoju was still a mainstay of the team when oliseh became captain. The heavens did not fall in any of these cases.

        • Chairmanfemi 2 years ago

          Absolutely spot on @Dr Drey. Ever since the list has been released, @LARRY has been bringing up this Captaincy matter…obviously trying to create problem where there’s none.