Newcastle United: Shola Ameobi focus not on World Cup
Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi says the players that secured World Cup qualification with their countries have to turn their focus to club level.
Shola Ameobi on Newcastle
“We've shown how good we are by beating Chelsea and Tottenham. The number of lads that'll be at the World Cup emphasises our squad's quality”
Ameobi was one of several to help his country qualify for Brazil 2014 after Nigeria beat Ethiopia.
"We need to re-focus because the squad is on a high after everything that's happened," he told BBC Newcastle.
The 32-year-old was part of the Nigeria squad that qualified for next year's tournament in Brazil, just two years after he was cleared by Fifa to represent the country of his birth.
Ameobi moved to Tyneside as a child and played for England at Under-21 level.
"It's been a rollercoaster of a ride for me, coming in to the Nigeria squad so late in my career," he said.
"I'm so proud. It really is a dream come true to play in a World Cup.
Ameobi the late international
Under Fifa rules, players who have represented one country at junior level can play for another at senior level subject to specific stipulations.
Previously, if players wanted to switch allegiance, they had to make that choice by the age of 21.
That rule was revoked in 2011.
"I still remember watching Italia '90 and thinking how unbelievable it would be to be a part of something like that."
As well as Ameobi, Newcastle team-mate Cheick Tiote helped the Ivory Coast side seal World Cup qualification.
And Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy and Loic Remy were part of the France squad that overturned a two-goal deficit to pip Ukraine to a place in Brazil.
But this weekend attention turns back to club action and the visit of 15th-placed Norwich to St James' Park.
"This is the sort of game we've slipped up in previously," Ameobi commented.
"We need to forget the three-week high we've had and concentrate again.
"We've shown how good we are recently and the number of lads that have qualified for the World Cup emphasises the quality in this squad."