Football in Nigeria is like a religion, fans go gaga whenever the national team is in action and success is recorded.
Nigeria has had its fair share of record making and record breaking moments in international football.
A lot of Nigerians have gone ahead to shake the footballing world and some of them remained inked in the Nigerian football legendary list forever, here are the top 10 Nigerian football legends.
Top 10 Nigerian Football Players Of All Time
He not only enjoyed that unforgettable moment but also became unforgettable when he became Nigeria’s record goalscorer with 37 goals in 62 matches. He also won the Africa player of the year in 1993.
Even if his record is broken by anyone in the future, Yekini can never be forgotten in Nigerian sports.
Jay Jay Okocha
So good they named him twice, Jay Jay Okocha was a maestro on the pitch of play during his days, just ask Oliver Khan.
Okocha is one of the Dream Team members in 1996 that went ahead to win Africa’s and Nigeria’s first ever Olympics football Gold.
Beyond that, he won one AFCON title, one silver medal at the AFCON and three bronze medals.
A lot of “next” Jay Jay Okochas have been renamed but none have been like the skills master and when it comes to style, elegance and dribbling Okocha remains Nigerian legend.
Papilo, the backbone of Atlanta 96 historic win by the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
He may have had a heart problem but he never had a problem winning trophies at his various club sides.
In fact, he was at the heart of a lot of Ajax, Inter and Arsenal fans with the trophies and unforgettable memories.
Kan-u believes that even without the biggest stars, the Nigerian star led Portsmouth to an FA Cup success. He doesn’t score much but he’s loved so much.
There are hardly many defenders that you would list above Steven Keshi when you’re talking about Nigerian players.
The big boss etched his name even on the African continent as one of only two men that won the Africa Cup of Nations as a player and as a coach.
His style of play as a defender got him the nickname big boss and even in death, Keshi remains a legend.
Dubbed mathematical, Segun Odegbami ruled the lines on the pitch, he was a member of the team that won Nigeria’s first ever Africa Cup of Nations title in 1980.
Mathematical’s statistics aren’t bad either as he is Nigeria’s second highest scorer with 23 goals from 46 appearances.
He is one of the best wingers Nigeria has produced.
The Prince of Monaco had his palace on the wings most of the time and was a devastating conqueror of many defences in the Ligue 1.
He was also the same in the Green white Green albeit his number of games was limited to 37 and the iconic Olympic gold at Atalanta 96 the notable silverware he has with the Super Eagles.
John Mikel Obi
It’s about time you started updating the Nigeria football Legends list, right?
Well, whether right or not it’s high time John Mikel Obi joined the legendary train.
For one, he is the most decorated Nigerian player. He has Olympics Silver and Bronze medals, AFCON title, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup, and League Cup amongst others.
We hope with that last paragraph of ours, we have been able to convince you that Mikel should be here.
The Bull bullied the fourth official to substitute him into an FA Cup game in which his former club Everton were trailing.
Everton were playing Tottenham in 1995 trailing but Amokachi utilized a moment when one of his teammates was taking treatment to initiate a substitution on behalf of his coach who wasn’t aware.
He went on to score a brace in that game and didn’t live to regret the action but instead remembered it.
Well for Nigeria, he also won the Olympic gold in 1996 and will be remembered for his 13 goals for the Super Eagles in 44 matches.
Oliseh scored one of the most iconic FIFA World Cup goals in 1998 in a 3-2 victory against Spain.
He also won the African Cup of Nations in 1994 and an Olympic gold medal two years later.
One of the golden generations of Nigerian football.
Taribo is one of the legendary defenders to have come from Nigeria, he represents the likes of Joseph Yobo, Christian Chukwu and Uche Ugochukwu who all deserve a mention.
Taribo spotted one of football’s most unique hairstyles but his spot in the Super Eagles team was never in doubt.