POTTERS striker Peter Odemwingie has expressed his delight after earning a spot in Nigeria’s preliminary 30-man for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The 32-year-old last appeared for the Super Eagles in 2010, but his fantastic form since joining Stoke in January has prompted head coach Stephen Keshi to hand him a surprise re-call ahead of this summer’s finals in Brazil.
Odemwingie has scored five goals in 14 appearances during his time in Stoke-on-Trent and admits he is thankful to the Potters helping him re-find the form he delivered upon his arrival in the Premier League four years ago.
“I’m very pleased that I have made the squad and I can’t wait to rejoin the team again,” he told Stoke City Player.
“I spoke to the [Nigeria] manager last week and things looked good, so I was hoping I would be called up and I am delighted that this is the case.
“I have to thank everybody at Stoke, I knew I would come here and score goals, the quality in the team shows that it would match my game and I have rediscovered the form I was in when I first came to England.
“I really enjoy it here and hopefully my good form can continue with the national team as well.”
Odemwingie travels to former club West Bromwich Albion in the Potters’ final game of the season on Sunday.
The Nigerian enjoyed three years with the Baggies, scoring 26 goals in his first two seasons before leaving the Black Country club on sour terms last summer.
It will be his first time back at the Hawthorns since his departure almost a year ago and Odemwingie insists his focus will purely be on helping Stoke gain three points against his former club.
“I am looking forward to returning, but my main aim will be to help Stoke City get the win,” he said.
“We can get ninth position and that’s what we will want to achieve. It’s also our last game of the season, so we want to finish off in winning way for our supporters who will make the journey.
“I’m proud to be a part of what is potentially a record breaking Stoke City side and as players, we want to beat as many records as possible,” he added.
“If I score on Sunday, of course I will celebrate, but I won’t exaggerate because I still have a lot of respect for West Brom.
“I will celebrate because I’ve scored and that’s my job. I will be happy for my team, my manager and Stoke because scoring means we are closer to breaking another record.
“I will celebrate for myself and not against anybody.”