Despite not making coach Stephen Keshi’s provisional 30-man list, Nigeria forward, Ikechukwu Uche, says he bears no grudge against the Super Eagles boss.
The Villarreal striker, who last played for his country as a substitute in the 1-0 win against Burkina Faso in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa last year, was ignored even with his 12 goals in the Spanish league this season.
“Of course, as a professional footballer, you’d love to represent your country, but I have never had bad words towards the national coach,” he told BBC Sport.
“We spoke two weeks before the squad was announced to clarify certain things that had been written and said in the media. Most significantly, it was a very good discussion. It gives me great pleasure that there is no ill will towards anyone. I thank the coach for that. I also wish my teammates all the best in Brazil, because we are all one family whether you are in the squad or not.”
Keshi hasn’t selected Uche in a year, since branding him “tactically undisciplined,” but the forward wants attention shifted away from him to the team’s preparation for the World Cup.
“We should all rally round the team and support them in Brazil. The coach cannot select everyone available to represent Nigeria,” he said.
“I thank the fans and those passionately concerned about my omission. I’m grateful for their support and best wishes.
“For me, those picked and those left out are also aware that the country’s success is more important than personal glory. I’ll be supporting my country. And I wish the team all the best at the World Cup.”