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Obafemi Martins finally rewarded with Nigeria call-up

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Mike Russell Foto

During the next international break, Seattle Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins will head to Swaziland and Nigeria as he represents his nation in World Cup Qualifying for the first time since March 2013. Nigeria manager Sunday Oliseh selected just turned 31-year-old player to this round of CAF qualifiers.

"It was a bit of a shock, but a nice shock. I'm very happy, because I have always worked hard, supported and respected all the players picked by the coaches," Martins told BBC Sport.

Nigeria must advance past Swaziland to make the Group Stage of CAF World Cup Qualifying. Swaziland crushed Djibouti 8-1 to advance to face the African power.

Martins will not miss any MLS Cup Playoff games even if Seattle advances to the Western Conference Finals. The qualifier will be played on Nov. 13 and 17. The conference semifinals conclude on Nov. 8 and the two-leg conference finals are scheduled to start on Nov. 22, though the date could change due to a conflict with the Seahawks.

The full Nigeria squad follows;

Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Dele Alampasu (Club de Sportivo Feirense, Portugal)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Kalu Orji (Enugu Rangers FC); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France); Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz, Germany); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Austin Oboroakpo (Abia Warriors)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Paul Onobi (Sunshine Stars); John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Rabiu Ibrahim (AS Trencin, Slovakia); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Sylvester Igbonu (FC UFA, Russia)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Ezekiel Bassey (Enyimba FC); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders, USA)