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Hibernian’s Efe Ambrose has revealed his desire to play for Nigeria ahead of next year’s World Cup.

The defender stopped receiving invites after his career took a downward slope, and was considered surplus to requirement at Celtic.

In the winter transfer window, after work permit stood in his way of securing a temporary move to English Championship side, Blackburn Rovers, the 28-year-old opted against fighting for a place in Brendan Rodgers’ squad by sealing an emergency loan deal to Hibs – one that has since been made permanent after he helped them to the Championship title and a return to the Scottish topflight.

Ambrose who has 51 caps and was part of the Super Eagles’ team to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil is now keen on a call-up to Gernot Rohr’s squad.

“I was ruled out of active football for eight months and staging a comeback with the Super Eagles was the least on my mind,” Ambrose told Edinburgh News.

“Life was difficult in that time not playing football. I had offers from other UK clubs but I was waiting for the right one to come. It was that bad I could not get a work permit to join Blackburn when the offer came.

“Then Neil Lennon put a call straight to me that he would like me to join him at Hibs,” he continued.

“He told me that coming to Hibs would help me resurrect my career. I never knew it was a blessing in disguise, winning the Championship trophy and then returning to the top division.

“I have always loved to play for my country and that has not changed. All that matters is the success of the team irrespective of who plays and who doesn’t. I will keep working hard and hope my opportunity comes.”

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