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Vic Concentrating On Club

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Victor Anichebe is set to continue his international exile in order to focus on Everton.

The forward has caught the eye with his muscular performances up front this season, enjoying his best ever campaign in terms of goalscoring.

But he wasn't part of the Nigeria team which won this year's African Cup of Nations.

Since then, quotes attributed to Super Eagles boss Steve Keshi suggested Anichebe had failed to respond to calls to represent his country.

The 25-year-old said: "I have always been proud to represent my country but it is becoming more and more evident that with the injuries I have had over the last two years or so, I have to manage my body accordingly.

"That's why I feel the best thing for me at the moment is to concentrate on club football.

"Without club football there is no international football and everyone at Everton was with me every step of the way during my injuries and rehabilitation and so I owe it to the club to manage myself correctly.

"I didn't feel that the Nigerian Football Federation was there for me the in the same manner, which was especially disappointing given that I got the injury representing my country.

"But I don't blame anyone for this nor do I have ANY issues with anybody from the NFF or Stephen Keshi our coach. He has done a fantastic job and is building a team that Nigerians can be proud of."

Victor Anichebe

Anichebe won an Olympic silver medal for Nigeria's Under-23 team in 2008 and went on to play for the senior team, only to miss out on a place in the 2010 World Cup.

His last appearance was in September 2011 when he suffered an injury in an African Nations qualifier in Madagascar.

Anichebe continued: "A lot of people ask me if I was sad that I wasn't part of the AFCON winning team but I couldn't have been happier because it brought so much happiness to Nigerians especially after there has been so much tragedy.

"I know football cannot take away some of the pain it has caused but it was good for the country. I am just like the 170 million Nigerians out there; I am a fan obviously as well as a player.

"If I had gone, would I be playing for my club at the level I am now? Perhaps not, so it worked out well for both sides. The time is just not right for me to resume my international career as of yet but I would certainly love to represent my country in the none too distant future."

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