Nigeria is an African country with a good number of footballers who have made a name in world football and in this article, we will be showing you a list of the best Nigerian footballers of all time.
The country Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa with a huge number of football lovers and they often turn into world-class football players. Nigeria has produced a lot of footballers but we have decided to compile a list of the most outstanding Nigerian footballers of all time.
Nigeria is blessed with many outstanding and talented footballers and with these men, the country has won many trophies and medals. The Super Eagles of Nigeria is also the third-best team in Africa and the 31st best men’s football team in the world according to the latest FIFA rankings.
Most of these outstanding footballers have for many years, stood as patriots of the country and they also played for the Nigerian national team and their club sides for many years.
Without wasting more time, let’s take a look at these best Nigerian footballers of all time and brief biographies and achievements of these soccer players.
List Of The Best Nigerian Footballers Of All Time
1) Kanu Nwankwo
Kanu Nwankwo is a legendary Nigerian footballer who is well known in the country. He retired after many years of playing as a forward for the Nigerian National Football Team and his club sides as a forward and he is one of the greatest Nigerian footballers of all time.
This former Nigerian footballer was born on the 1st of Agust, 1976 in Owerri, Imo, Nigeria. Kanu hails from Abia State in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria and he began his professional career at the Nigerian league side, Federation Works.
Kanu is one Nigerian footballer who has played for many top football clubs and some of them include Dutch side Ajax, Inter Milan of Italy, and English clubs Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth.
He is not only regarded as one of the best Nigerian footballers of all time but one of the greatest African footballer of all time.
2) Jay-Jay Okocha
Occupying the second spot on this list is Jay-Jay Okocha who is one Nigerian footballer that Nigerians and Africans, in general, cant forget so easily.
Okocha is a Nigerian former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He was known for his confidence with the ball, technique, creativity, and dribbling skills, as well as his use of feints, and in particular, the stepover.
This list of the best Nigerian footballers of all time wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t add this outstanding Nigerian soccer player. Okocha started his football career at Nigerian football league side known as Enugu Rangers and during his professional career which lasted for 18 years, he played for some top foreign clubs which include Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahçe, Paris Saint-Germain, Bolton Wanderers and Hull City.
3) Emmanuel Amuneke
Emmanuel Amuneke is another outstanding retired Nigerian footballer and coach who occupies the third position on this list of the best Nigerian footballers of all time.
He was born in Eziobodo, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria on the 25th of December in 1970. Amuneke played for the Nigerian National Football team and some other top foreign football clubs from around the world.
Amuneke’s career was however halted after he contracted a knee injury while playing against Spanish giants – Barcelona F.C in 1997. He played for the Nigerian Men’s National football team throughout his career and Amuneke scored the winning goal in the final of the 1996 Olympic games as the national team won the gold medal.
4) Rashidi Yekini
Rashidi Yekini is another top Nigerian football who is widely known for his exploits in the game of football around the world. He started his career at UNTL Kaduna F.C and since then, this Ex Nigerian soccer star has played in over 7 countries from around the world.
Yekini played for the Nigerian Men’s Senior Football Team which is known as the Super Eagles of Nigeria and also Vitória de Setúbal in Portugal. He represented his fatherland – Nigeria in five major tournaments, scoring a total of 37 goals as a footballer in the Nigerian Super Eagles team.
He died on the 4th of May, 2012 at the age of 48. Until his death, Rashidi Yekini played for top football clubs from around the world and some of these clubs include Olympiacos FC, Sporting de Gijón, FC Zürich, Club Athlétique Bizertin and Al-Shabab Riyadh.
5) Daniel Amokachi
Daniel Amokachi who was born on the 30th of December 1972, is an Ex Nigerian professional footballer, and the former assistant manager of the Nigeria national men’s football team which is known as the Super Eagles.
Amokachi who was nicknamed “The Bull” started his footballing career at Ranchers Bees. He was later discovered by Nigerian national team coach, Clemens Westerhof, who brought him to the 1990 African Nations Cup as a player under the super eagles of Nigeria.
He retired from active football in 2005 as a player for Nigerian league side known as Nassarwa United and since his retirement, Amokachi has managed top football teams which include Nasarawa United, Nigerian National Football Team (Assistant coach), Enyimba, Nigeria (Assistant coach), Nigeria (interim), Ifeanyi Ubah and many others.
6) Victor Ikpeba
Victor Ikpeba Nosa who was born on the 12th of June, 1973 is a Nigerian former footballer and one of the best Nigerian footballers of all time. He played as a forward for both his country and club sides while his career lasted.
Ikpeba who was one of Nigeria’s hottest footballers at that time played thirty-one international matches and scored seven goals for his home country Nigeria.
He was first discovered by Belgian club side known as RFC Liège during the 1989 FIFA U-17 World Championship and they quickly facilitated his move to Belgium where he played with a fellow Nigerian footballer – Sunday Oliseh in the same club.
Victor Ikpeba is one of the best players to ever come out of Nigeria and while his career lasted as a footballer, Ikpeba was a fast, versatile, and opportunistic forward, who was capable of playing as a striker or winger. He was also known for his ability to score from any position on the football pitch.
7) Segun Odegbami
Patrick Olusegun Odegbami is an Ex Nigerian footballer who was born on the 27th of August, 1952 in his hometown in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. He played as a forward for both his country and club sides.
Segun Odegbami who is now a football TV analyst was a top Nigerian footballer before his retirement is one of the best Nigerian footballers of all time. He scored a total of 23 goals for the Nigerian Men’s Senior Football Team in 46 appearances.
8) Sunday Oliseh
Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh is a former Nigerian footballer and a manager who has managed many top clubs and the Nigerian National football team which is known as the Super Eagles. He played a midfielder as a footballer and many believe he is gifted with technical footballing skills.
Oliseh featured in 63 international matches and scored three goals for Nigeria. He also played at the Football World Cups of 1994 and 1998 and the 1996 Olympics games where Nigeria claimed the Gold medal in football.
9) Stephen Keshi
Stephen Keshi is and Ex Nigerian footballer who played as a defender for the Nigerian Men’s Football team and some Belgian club sides. He is regarded as one of Nigeria’s best footballers of all time and he scored a total of nine goals of Nigeria in 64 appearances.
After his footballing career, Keshi moved to the United States of America to be educated in coaching and after his time in the USA, he managed the National football teams of some African countries which include Nigeria, Mali and Togo.
Unfortunately, Stephen Keshi died on the 7th of June, 2016 in Benin City after he had a brief heart attack in his home. He died while en route to the hospital and before his death, Keshi was a top Nigerian coach and he won many titles with the Nigerian National Men’s Football Team which is known as the Super Eagles.
10) Joseph Yobo
Joseph Michael Yobo who was born on the 6th of September, 1980 is a Nigerian former professional footballer who played as a centre back for both his country and club sides. He was one of the top Nigerian footballers who dedicated most parts of his footballing career playing for his home country and he was the former captain of the Nigerian Super Eagles Team.
Yobo was born in Kono, a community in the Khana area of Rivers State, Nigeria and he started his professional footballing career at Standard Liège which is a Belgian football club.
He has since played for popular football clubs from top leagues from around the world and some of these clubs include Marseille, Tenerife, Everton, Fenerbahçe & Norwich City.
Yobo also played for the Nigerian Super Eagles team from 2001 to 2014 and he scored a total of 7 goals in 101 appearances for the team.
- Mikel Obi
- Christian Chukwu
- Mudashiru Babatunde
- Muda Lawal
- Vincent Enyaema
- Finidi George
- Daniel Amokachi
- Peter Osaze Odemwingie