Over the past years and decades, Nigeria has been terrific in football. We have had players who have competed locally, internationally and are well respected and renowned. We have gone from winning the Olympics to the African cup of nations and also the under 18 world cup.
Nigeria has groomed talents to compete for football awards, being recognized by foreign football legends and football pundits. We have the likes of Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Taribo West, Kanu Nwankwo who have won lot of trophies.
After their time, we have seen other generation rise to the spotlight, likes of Kalu and Ikechukwu Uche, Peter Osaze Odemwingie, Obafemi Martins, Joseph Yobo, and many of these stars are still making headlines in their respective leagues worldwide
We are going to look at top famous Nigerian footballers of all time, their biography, their career growth, and many more.
#1 VICTOR OSIMHEN (NAPOLI)
He is one of the best strikers Nigeria has, he played for the French side Lille in 2019. He ended the 2019/2020 season with a total of 18 goals from 38 appearances. He was part of the Ligue 1’s team of the season and won the 2020 Prix Marc-Vivien Foe which is the award for the best African player in Ligue 1.
He moved to the Italian club Napoli in 2020. He didn’t start well due to the injury which kept him sidelined but has since bounced back.
#2 WILRED NDIDI (LEICESTER CITY)
This Nigerian star has been very consistent in being an integral part of his club side and his country. For the last few years, he has been the best player for Nigeria. He plays the position of a midfielder and has since grown to be one of the best worldwide after joining the premier league side Leicester city in 2017.
An injury reduced his impact in the latter part of 2020 but has since then been very impressive since he made his return.
#3 SIMY NWANKWO (CROTONE)
Plays the position of the striker and has left a great mark for himself in his club and for the country. He finished as the top scorer in his leagues’ division (Italian Seria B) with a total of 20 goals in the 2019/2020 season. With his goals, Crotone was able to return to the top league (Seria A)
#4 ZAIDU SANUSI (SANTA CLARA/ PORTO)
He wasn’t that popular or prominent until the latter part of 2020 but since he has been performing and has been one of the best left-back. He made a total of 21 appearances for his team Santa Clara and due to his brilliant performance, they were able to get to secure the ninth-place position in their league Primeira Liga.
He had a great run of performance which made the Portugal giants Porto see him fit as a replacement for their Brazilian left-back Alex Telles who left for Manchester United.
He finally made his debut appearance for Nigeria and has proven himself worthy to be the first choice in the left-back.
#5 SEMI AJAYI (WEST BROM)
He plays the position of a central defender and has just been a decent player who started mostly from the bench not until 2020 where there was a boost in his career. Before 2020, he started having a better season for West Brom who later secured their spot back in the premier league.
#6 PAUL ONUACHU (GENK)
He made a name for himself he Denmark and left looking for a more competitive league. He ended up in a Belgian club and in his first season he couldn’t pick up his form as he had in Denmark although he managed to score nine goals. This season he has proven himself worthy and has scored 14 goals in 17 appearances.
#7 FRANK ONYEKA (FC MIDTJYLLAND)
2019/2020 season was the season that actually brought out Onyeka to the limelight who has been in the club since 2016. After playing two seasons with the club, he proved to be a top talent in the 2019/2020 season after showing some brilliant performance.
He plays everywhere in the midfield position (defensive and attacking midfield). He has covered a lot and grounds and has performed his duties to the best of his abilities. His contribution to the club saw them winning their league title and he was rewarded as the club’s player of the year.
#8 KELECHI PROMISE IHEANACHO (LEICESTER CITY)
He was one of our young talents in the under 17 world cup which was won by the team and he was the best player in the tournaments and also the highest goal scorer. His talent drew the attention of top clubs including Manchester city of England. He didn’t pick up his form there an was left out of the plan for the team.
He later signed for Leicester city. 2020 was the year he picked up under the management of Brendan Rogers and has since then been very impressive. He has helped the team secure a spot in the FA cup semi finals after his goals against Manchester united.
He is also back to playing in the Super Eagles team. He scored his first premier league hat trick against Sheffield united and later scored a brace against Manchester united. These performances led to him being nominated for the player of the month award for March 2021 which he won.
#9 SAMUEL CHUKWUEZE (VILLARREAL)
This season, he has been one of the most important and key players for the team. He started from Villarreal youth team in 2017 and made his senior appearance coming in as a substitute. He scored his first senior goal in 2018 as his team defeated Athletic Bilbao.
In 2019, he won the award for the Nigerian football federation for the young player of the year 2018.
#10 JOE ARIBO (RANGERS)
The played his debut for the country in 2019. Since his debut, he has become one of Nigerian`s finest and most consistent player.
He plays for the Scottish side Rangers under the management of Steven Gerrard.