Nigeria is a nation with a population of over 186 million people and a broad array of athletic activities. One of these is football, which is highly loved throughout the country. Nigeria has been producing some of the best football players to come out of Africa since 1949, when a select group of Nigerian footballers was chosen to create the “U.K. Tourists,” a touring side that represented Nigeria in Europe.
Titus Okere became the first Nigerian footballer to play for an international side when he joined Swindon Town F.C. in 1953. Since then, a great number of other excellent football players have come from the country and have been featured in sports news all the time. The following is a list of some of the most talented football players that Nigeria has produced.
Sunday Oliseh is a name well known in the world of Nigerian football, both as a former player and as a manager. During his playing career, he was a defensive midfielder. His football career began in 1989 and lasted until 2006 when he was 32 years old when he retired.
Oliseh was born on March 14, 1974. During the course of his professional career, he was a member of a number of different clubs, including Julius Berger, R.F.C. Liège, Reggiana, Ajax, Juventus, and Genk, as well as the Nigerian national team from 1993 to 2002. He has formerly managed the clubs Eupen, Verviétois, and Nigeria and was also the manager of Fortuna Sittard.
At the age of 19, his extraordinary qualities won him a transfer to Koln from Reggiana for the sum of US $1.8 million, and at the age of 22, Ajax bought him for the sum of U.S. $2.7 million. Oliseh represented Nigeria in the FIFA World Cup in both 1994 and 1998. He participated in a total of 54 international appearances for his country and scored two goals.
Oliseh, however, is most recognized for scoring the game-winning goal in a group stage encounter against Spain at the 1998 World Cup. This is the moment that he is most fondly remembered. It is believed that Oliseh has a net worth of about $4 million.
Marchine Azuka Okocha, who is most often known by his nickname “Jay-Jay,” was born on March 14, 1973. During his career, which spanned from 1990 to 2008, he was recognized for his technique, confidence, and dribbling ability, particularly his use of feints. He played as an attacking midfielder during his entire career.
Throughout the course of his career, he was a member of the Borussia Neunkirchen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Paris Saint-Germain, Bolton Wanderers, Qatar SC and Hull City football teams.
Between the years 1993 and 2006, he participated in 75 games at the international level for Nigeria and scored 14 goals. Since he retired in 2008, he has become a business magnate, controlling many enterprises in his home country, and is now believed to have a net worth of over $150 million.
Born on March 23, 1962, Stephen Keshi was a former player for Nigeria as well as the country’s manager. On March 7, 2016, he sadly passed away while on his way to the hospital after having a heart attack in the comfort of his own home.
Throughout his career as a defender for Nigeria’s national team, he appeared in 64 international matches and scored nine goals. He was the team’s captain when they won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994, and he guided the side to victory again in 2013, this time on the sidelines. This makes him one of just two persons who have ever won the event as both a player and a coach.
His football career lasted from 1979 to 1998, and during that time, he played for five different teams, one of which being in Belgium. While playing for Belgium, he was a part of the R.S.C. Anderlecht team that won the Belgian Jupiler League in 1991.
On the day that would have been his 56th birthday, the search engine Google honored him by changing the logo it uses in Nigeria to one that features an illustration of him.