Leon Balogun has revealed that he's been welcomed warmly into the Nigeria camp ahead of the Super Eagles' upcoming fixtures, and that he's delighted to be back in the fold.
Salif Yussuf revealed his squad for the national side's upcoming friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg at the end of April, naming Balogun as one of nine defenders, all of whom are foreign-based.
Writing on Twitter, the Mainz defender shared a photograph of himself and Nigeria forward Odion Ighalo in the team coach in Rouen, both beaming ahead of the challenges that await Salisu Yusuf's side.
Had a very warm welcome at the camp. Feels good to be back @NGSuperEagles@ighalojude pic.twitter.com/iwF4saqnyc— Leon Balogun (@LeonBalogun) May 25, 2016
"Hard a very warm welcome at the camp," Balogun began. "Feels good to be back."
In order to prepare for his international return, Leon even went to a Berlin barbers and treated himself to a 'five-minute freshen up' ahead of the upcoming matches.
5 minute freshen up before national duty— Leon Balogun (@LeonBalogun) May 23, 2016
#030 #Berlin #Cutbusser #Freshcut #SoFreshSoCleanpic.twitter.com/W9DqX2h924
The stopper has suffered more misfortune than most in recent years, as he's struggled to get his Nigeria career off the ground.
He made his debut for the national side in a friendly against Mexico ahead of the 2014 World Cup, and while he impressed—making a case for inclusion in Brazil—injury ultimately cost him a spot on the plane.
Stephen Keshi opted to look elsewhere in subsequent months, and the versatile defender didn't return to the fold until he started in the defeat to Uganda in March 2015, before featuring in fixtures against South Africa and Chad later that year.
He was originally overlooked for the squad to face Egypt in the ill-fated double header in March, and while he was recalled following a u-turn by Samson Siasia, injury ultimately prevented his contribution.
Leon may have missed out on Nigeria's sad failure, but he could well be set to become a key figure in the Eagles' future…at least if the misfortune that's affected him to date finally disappears.
Nigeria face Mali in Rouen on Friday 27, before meeting Luxembourg in Luxembourg City on Tuesday.