Penpix of Nigeria squad

ABUJA, June 4 (Reuters) - Penpix of Nigeria's 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa:

25-Dele Aiyegnugba (Bnei Yehuda). Goalkeeper. Born Nov. 20 1983. Caps 8. Goals 0.

Back-up keeper who helped his previous club Enyimba to win the African Champions League title in a post-match penalty shootout. Played in UEFA's Europa League this season.

16-Austin Ejide (Hapoel Petach Tikva). Goalkeeper. Born April 8 1982. Caps 19. Goals 0.

One of three Nigerian goalkeepers based in Israel, where he moved from French club Bastia and where he has played only two matches this season. His last appearance for Nigeria was against Saudi Arabia on May 25.

1-Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv). Goalkeeper. Born Aug. 29 1982. Caps 53. Goals 0.

Long-standing first choice who has played at four successive African Nations Cup finals and was in goal against England at the 2002 World Cup. Moved from Nigerian champions Enyimba in 2005 and named best player in the Israeli league last year.

22-Dele Adelaye (Sparta Rotterdam). Defender. Born Dec. 25 1988. Caps 5. Goals 0.

Central defender who graduated to the senior side from Nigeria's under-20 team that finished runners-up at the World Youth Championship in 2005. Was banned for five matches in the Dutch league this season for elbowing an opponent.

5-Rabiu Afolabi (Red Bull Salzburg). Defender. Born April 18 1980. Caps 15. Goals 0.

Won recall from new coach Lars Lagerback after not featuring for the last two years. Won Austrian title winners' medal this season after previously playing in Belgium, France and Germany.

21-Elderson Echiejile (Stade Rennes). Defender. Born Jan. 20 1988. Caps 11. Goals 0.

Started career at a Nigerian football academy aged 11 and played at the under-20 World Cup in Canada in 2007. That led to his signing by Rennes, for whom he played in last season's French Cup final. He will battle Taiwo for the left-back berth.

17-Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow). Defender. Born Dec. 17 1983. Caps 25. Goals 1.

Wingback who has been perennial squad member but rarely in the starting line-up of late. Member of the Russian club's team which won the UEFA Cup five years ago.

6-Danny Shittu (Bolton Wanderers). Defender. Born Sept. 2 1980. Caps 26. Goals 0.

Born in Lagos but raised in Britain, he started his career at Charlton. When he moved to Queens Park Rangers, a fan paid his 350,000-pound ($510,000) transfer fee and his wages in the first year of his contract on behalf of the club.

3-Taye Taiwo (Olympique Marseille). Defender. Born April 16 1985. Caps 41. Goals 4.

Lost his place in the Nigeria side in January but helped Marseille to win the title in France. He was the Nigeria set-piece specialist with a thunderous shot and will go to the World Cup with experience from Nations Cup, Champions League and UEFA Cup.

2-Joseph Yobo (Everton). Defender. Born Sept. 6 1980. Caps 66. Goals: 3.

Likely to captain the team at the World Cup if Nwankwo Kanu does not make the starting line-up. Strong central defender who is the commander of the back four but prone to the occasional gaffe. His season has been blighted by injury.

13-Yusuf Ayila (Dynamo Kiev). Midfielder. Born Nov. 4 1982. Caps 27. Goals 2.

Among a phalanx of defensive midfielders in the squad. Unusually for an African footballer, has spent seven seasons in eastern Europe where he has experienced regular Champions League action with his Ukrainian side.

20-Dickson Etuhu (Fulham). Midfielder. Born: June 8 1982. Caps 13. Goals 0.

Hard-working midfielder with a reputation for athletic prowess and raw power but lacks the finesse of many of his team mates. Came back from injury to help his London club reach this year's Europa League final.

14-Sani Kaita (Alania Vladikavhaz). Midfielder. Born: May 2 1986. Caps 21. Goals 0.

Captain of the Nigerian under-20 side that finished runners-up at the 2005 World Youth Championship. On loan at his third Russian club in three years from French club Monaco.

4-Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth). Midfielder. Born Aug. 1 1976. Caps 84. Goals 13.

Nigeria's most capped international and one of a handful of Africans to have won a Champions League winners' medal, with Ajax Amsterdam. As a teenager he narrowly missed out on selection for the 1994 World Cup but played in the next two editions.

His gangly style and close ball skills delight fans but Nigeria rarely use him as more than a late substitute.

15-Haruna Lukman (Monaco). Midfielder. Born April 12 1990. Caps 4. Goals 1.

Back in the squad after breaking into the Monaco first team this season. He had been in the squad for the 2008 African Nations Cup finals but did not feature in any of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Scored his first goal in a friendly against Colombia.

10-John Obi Mikel (Chelsea). Midfielder. Born April 22 1987. Caps 30. Goals 2.

He is used in a more attacking role by his country who do not have a playmaker. As a result, Obi Mikel battles to have the same impact for country as he has as a crunching midfielder for his London club. His real name is John Obinna but the Obi Mikel tag has stuck since the Nigeria Football Association botched his paperwork ahead of a FIFA youth tournament.

12-Kalu Uche (Almeria). Midfielder. Born Nov. 15 1982. Caps 22. Goals 2.

His younger brother Ike Uche was a surprise omission from the finals squad. Kalu has had spells in Poland, France and now Spain. Leading goal scorer for his club this season with goals that helped Almeria to avoid relegation.

7-John Utaka (Portsmouth). Midfielder. Born 8 January, 1982. Caps 44. Goals 5.

Winger who has worked his way back into the squad after being dropped for January's African Nations Cup finals. Played at the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan with the Super Eagles. Has also won the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008.

8-Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton). Forward. Born Nov. 22 1982. Caps 49. Goals 19.

Main striker who has good goal ratio for his country but also a reputation for horror misses in Nigerian colours. Made his mark in the UEFA Champions League with Maccabi Haifa before moving to England. Nigeria sent him home from the 2004 Nations Cup after he broke a curfew.

9-Obafemi Martins (VfL Wolfsburg). Forward. Born Oct. 28 1984. Caps 33. Goals 16.

"Obagoal" averages a goal every second game for the Super Eagles but still has not made a consistent impact for his country. Got the vital away goal against Kenya in the final qualifier. His first Bundesliga season, after moving from Newcastle, delivered six goals.

18-Victor Obinna (Malaga). Forward. Born March 25 1987. Caps 31. Goals 8.

Exciting talent who has scored vital goals for his country after winning almost all of his caps as an impact substitute. Has played at three successive Nations Cup finals and was loaned by Inter Milan to Malaga this season.

19-Chinedu Obasi (Hoffenheim). Forward. Born June 1 1986. Caps 13. Goals 1.

Right wing who debuted for Nigeria with John Obi Mikel, then disappeared off the radar before helping Hoffenheim's dream campaign last season. He was a last-minute addition to the Nations Cup squad in January and played in every match.

11-Peter Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow). Forward. Born July 15 1981. Caps 48. Goals 8.

Soviet-born right-winger, whose father went to study medicine in Tashkent and married a Russian woman. Odemwingie's family had moved back to Nigeria when his professional career started and he played for clubs in Romania, Belgium and France before moving to Lokomotiv Moscow in 2007.

(Compiled by Mark Gleeson)

(Editing by Jon Bramley; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)