Nigeria is among the top sporting countries in Africa. Football is arguably the most loved sport in the country. The love of football has attracted betting companies like Betway online betting Nigeria to take care of the betting needs of the huge numbers of fans. Their national football team is called the Super Eagles.
The country is currently ranked as the third-best footballing nation in Africa. It is blessed with some of the finest talents that have performed on the big platforms across the world. Here, we look at ten of the best Nigerian footballers of all time.
1. Nwankwo Kanu
Kanu is Nigeria’s most decorated footballer. He was capped 86 times and scored 13 goals for the Super Eagles between 1994- 2010. In his career, he won three Eredivisie titles and the Champions League with Ajax, a Dutch side. He also lifted the UEFA Cup with Inter Milan in the year 1998.
He then moved to England, where he played for Arsenal from 1999. At Arsenal, he won two premier leagues and FA cups. His 15-minute hat-trick against Chelsea to secure a 3-2 win is perhaps his most impressive contribution. His goal-scoring ability would make him a favorite for punters on Betway in the current generation. He also played for West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth.
He was named African Footballer of the Year twice and won the Olympic Gold medal with Nigeria in 1996.
2. Jay Jay Okocha
Okocha’s impressive career was between 1993 and 2006 in which he was capped 75 times and scored 14 goals. He is the most effective African dribbler of all time.
He played in Europe for Frankfurt, Fenerbahce and Paris Saint- Germain. However, it is at Bolton Wanderers that his career peaked. In his first season, he helped his team in the division and, after that, captained them to the League Cup final in 2004. They lost to Middlesbrough.
Among his honors is African Footballer of the Year 2005. In 2004 Pele included him in his top 125 living footballers of all time.
3. Rashidi Yekini
Yekini played between 1984 and 1998, where he was capped 58 times and managed 37 goals for his national team. He remains an iconic figure in Nigerian football, especially after scoring their first-ever World Cup goal in their 3-0 win over Bulgaria in the 1994 tournament in the USA.
He played his club football in Portugal at Vitoria FC. His fruitful time there saw him named the African Footballer of the Year in 1993. He was also the first Nigerian to win the award. He passed on in May 2012.
4. Uche Okechukwu
Uche played his football from 1990 to 2002. He was capped 46 times for the Super Eagles, and he managed two goals. He took over the captaincy of the national team after Keshi retired. He was also part of the team that won gold in the 1996 Olympics and the African Cup of Nations in 1994.
In his career, he won the Danish League twice. He spent the better part of his career in Turkey with Fenerbahce. While there, he won the Turkish League two times. He was also part of the Fernabahce team that ended Manchester United’s 40-year unbeaten European home record at Old Trafford.
5. Finidi George
George played his football between 1991 and 2002. He was capped 62 times and scored six goals. He played for Ajax from 1993, helping them win three Eredivisie titles and one Champions League title.
He was considered one of the best wingers in the world in 1996 when he moved to Real Betis. His brilliance attracted the attention of Real Madrid, but the move never materialized. He played one season in England with Ipswich Town.
6. Taribo West
West’s football career lasted between 1994 and 2002. He was capped 41 times but never managed a single goal. He was a fierce defender known for his unique hairstyles. He is part of the golden team of 1996.
He was in the national team that played the 1998 and 2002 world cup. He had a significant impact back at home that there is a football club named Taribo West. In club football, he has played for Auxerre, both Milan clubs and a short stint at Derby County.
7. Stephen Keshi
Keshi played his professional football between 1981 and 1995. He was capped 64 times, and he scores nine goals. He is the longest-serving Nigerian skipper who is adored by many. He has featured four times in the African Cup of Nations. He also featured in the 1994 world cup.
He was also the National team’s head coach, where he led the Super Eagles to the 2013 African Cup of Nations. In Europe, he played for Lokeren in Belgium and Anderlecht and Strasbourg. While there, he opened up paths for his fellow countrymen.
8. Sunday Oliseh
Oliseh was capped 63 times and scored four goals in a career that lasted between 1993 and 2002. His ability saw him play for football giants like Juventus, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund.
He won several titles in Netherlands and Germany, but the gold medal at the Olympics crowns it all. They cruised part Brazil and Argentina to win that gold in a memorable sporting encounter in Atlanta. He also lifted the AFCON in 1994. The goal he scored against Spain in the 1998 world cup will forever linger in many African minds.
9. Patrick Odegbami
Odegbami played from 1976 to 1982. In his career, he was capped 46 times, and he scored 23 goals.
He was the joint leading top scorer in the 1980 AFCON leading Nigeria to lift the trophy for the first time in their history. He spent his entire club football career with Shooting Stars in Nigeria.
10. Emmanuel Amunike
Emmanuel is among the greatest wingers to ever come from Nigeria. He was blessed with excellent dribbling skills that made it easy for him to drift past defenders.
He featured for the Super Eagles in the 1994 world cup team. His presence in a team would give a gambler on Betway confidence to put their money on that team. His promising professional football career was cut short by a serious knee injury when playing for Barcelona.