Defender Juwon Oshaniwa is one of a number of Nigerian players who has made Israel their temporary home. The 23-year-old joined FC Ashdod in 2012 – the same year he played his first match for the Super Eagles. He then made Stephen Keshi's squad for the 2013 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, where the west Africans won their third continental title.
Following that triumph, he played in Nigeria's first two 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers but somewhat fell off the radar thereafter, as Keshi gave other players the opportunity of competing at the highest level. Oshaniwa, who is a speedy left back, was close to signing for Celtic at the start of last year and was also keenly followed by Swiss club FC Basel, but in the end stayed with Ashdod.
His inclusion in Keshi's extended squad for the World Cup drew some raised eyebrows and the coach, who is known for not shying away from hard decisions, kept Oshaniwa on the bench in the two friendlies (a goalless draw against Mexico and a 2-2 draw against Scotland) the Super Eagles played before the final squads had to be registered. However, when Keshi announced his 23-man squad for Brazil, Oshaniwa was included in the list alongside first choice left back Elderson Echiejile.