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World Cup window for Ameobi

Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi is hoping an appearance at the 2014 World Cup will put him in the shop window.

Last Updated: 16/11/13 at 11:23 Post Comment

Shola Ameobi: Will see his contract at Newcastle expire next summer

Shola Ameobi: Will see his contract at Newcastle expire next summer

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With his contract at St James' Park due to expire next summer, and with no extension being discussed, the experienced frontman is heading towards free agency.

For some, an uncertain future would be cause for a concern, but Ameobi claims to be 'excited' about the prospect of making a 'fresh start'.

Having spent his entire career to date with Newcastle - barring one short-term loan stint at Stoke City in 2008 - the 32-year-old believes a new challenge will do him good.

Shining for Nigeria at football's showpiece event in Brazil would certainly aid his cause, and Ameobi intends to do just that.

He said in the Northern Echo: "I am not one to look too far ahead. But I know it is a big year for me. I have been at Newcastle almost all of my career and it could be a fresh start, a change, which I am excited about. If I can go to the World Cup and do well, anything could happen.

"It is a big season before that though, there are a lot of good players Nigeria can pick from so the priority is to play well for Newcastle, get in the team and play well. If I can do that, I have a better chance of being in the Nigeria squad."

Ameobi has only been part of the Nigeria set-up for a little over a year, having opted to represent the country of his birth after failing to build on U21 recognition with England.

A senior call-up was mooted during Sven-Goran Eriksson's time in charge of the Three Lions, but Ameobi is delighted to have seen his patience rewarded by Stephen Keshi.

On the England talk, he added: "That was a long time ago. It is surreal when you think about it. I was 21 at the time, a lot going on and the world at my feet. That was all about getting into the Newcastle team back then. To think that another opportunity has come up now with Nigeria is a great feeling.

"It was disappointing never to get called up for the main squad. I was a player who always wanted to play at the highest level. That is all I ever wanted to do. I wanted to play international football.

"There are players in squads you never thought would make it who did. In that respect, it is very inspiring. It just shows you what hard work can do. It has been great to think the Nigerian coach has recognised what I can bring to the squad."

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