Nobody expected Shola Ameobi to play at the World Cup for Nigeria four years ago in Brazil.

Having done the ‘unthinkable’ back then, his younger brother, Sammy is keeping hope alive that he can gate-crash the Super Eagles team going to Russia.

Sammy has pledged his international future to Nigeria despite playing for England Under-21s and has not given up on an unlikely slot to Russia.

Having previously played for Nigeria’s Under-20s in two friendlies in 2011, the 25-year-old would love to make the step up to senior level, emulating his brother Shola, who played at the 2014 World Cup finals.

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Ameobi who has been in fine form since returning from a knee injury sustained in pre-season in an interview with The Bolton News: "I want to solely represent Nigeria.

"Hopefully that opportunity will come but it will only possibly happen if I play well on a weekly basis, which is what I am aiming to do here at Bolton Wanderers.

"With it being a World Cup year who knows what could happen? It would be great to be a part of that, but there’s a lot of hard work ahead for me if that’s even possible.

"It isn’t easy breaking into the international team. Shola did it and I can only hope to follow in his footsteps!"

Nigeria will face Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in the group stages in Russia.

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