Nigeria is blessed with a lot of footballing talents in the country and even outside of it. It’s not surprising to see Nigerian names in foreign national teams.
In the days past, players of dual nationalities of Nigerian decent have always been at the fore of discussions, but while we see the likes of Leon Balogun, Ekong, Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi in the Nigerian national team, there are others who could have been but are not.
However, there are some who are Nigerians but are not playing for Nigeria and here are some of them.
Nigerian footballers that don’t play for Nigeria
David Alaba – Country: Austria
On a list like this, David Alaba will always be on top as the biggest miss by Nigeria for any player whatsoever.
David Olatukunbo Alaba was born in Vienna, Austria to Nigerian parents and always wanted to play for Nigeria.
However, he was turned down by the national team handler for the Nigerian under 17 team in between 2007 and 2009.
Since then he has featured for the Austrian national team, played for the Bayern Munich team and won the UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga.
Currently, Alaba plays for Real Madrid and has already won the La Liga and UEFA Champions League.
He would have been an added quality to the Nigerian team, especially in the defence and a good set piece asset.
Tammy Abraham – Country: England
If there is any player Nigerians would have wished not to be associated with, it will be Tammy. Now, this is not because of his quality but because of the way he handled Nigeria’s bid to have him in the Super Eagles.
In an interview in 2019, Kevin Oghenetega Tamaraebi Bakumo-Abraham said that he never had any prospect of playing for Nigeria even claiming the NFF had tried to roll out the red carpet.
In truth, then NFF president, Amaju Pinnick who is a friend of Tammy Abraham’s father, claimed in 2017 that Tammy had agreed to play for Nigeria.
However, Tammy’s statement was received badly by Nigerian fans, the majority of who wanted him especially as he was a Chelsea player then.
He has gone on to make appearances for the Three Lions but imagine Tammy and Victor Osimehn for Nigeria upfront.
Manuel Akanji – Country: Switzerland
Born Manuel Obafemi Akanji, the defender has a Nigerian father but a Swiss mother and has already featured for Switzerland at the World Cup in 2018.
Unfortunately, he has always been in the cadet teams or the Swiss and Nigeria never stood a chance the moment he made his National Team debut.
However, how much quality would his addition to the Nigerian backline have been like?
Dominic Solanke – Country: England
Another English-born player who turned down the chance to play for the Green White Green. Solanke was not officially courted by the Nigeria Football Federation but he was always quick to rebuke any reports linking him to Nigeria.
He won the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup and received the Golden Ball award for best player in the tournament.
His only Senior national team call-up was against Brazil in a friendly in November 2017.
While he is still eligible to play for Nigeria, Solanke hasn’t been called up by either African country or the Three Lions.
He currently plays for Bournemouth in the Premier League having played and helped them secure promotion last season.
Dele Ali – Country: England
Here’s another player who could have been a quality for the senior national team of Nigeria.
Born in Milton Keynes to a Nigerian father and a British mother, Dele spent a couple of years in Nigeria and even went to secondary school in Ogun State.
How about the midfielder was already in the English football system with MK Dons before moving to Tottenham?
This article was updated 1 month ago