Who is the Best Nigerian Soccer Players of All Time
Soccer is the art of belief, the philosophy of battle, and the religion of power. The one who has been cheering for a soccer team for years knows what we are talking about. This is unparalleled experience: to put on the fan scarf, draw the ball on a cheek, and feel a crazy excitement as well as a slight tingling in the chest.
It does not matter whether your favorite soccer player is Ronaldo or Messi, whether you are from Puerto Rico or Lagos. For just a couple of hours, you become a part of the game of millions of people. That is why we all love soccer.
Now, it is time to find out about players who make this game so exciting. But before we move on to the list of the best Nigerian soccer players of all time and answer one of the most popular questions: “Who is Nigeria’s best footballer ever?”, let’s figure something out.
Who Is Nigeria Highest Goal Scorer of All Time?
It is one of the top-ranked requests in Google, so why don’t we clear that out once and for always? Remember the name of Rashidi Yekini; he is the best Nigerian goal scorer of all time.
Rashidi Yekini holds the Nigerian record for the number of goals scored in the national team – a native of Kaduna can boast 37 goals in 70 games. This soccer player participated in two world championships (1994 and 1998) and scored the first goal of the Nigerians at the world championships at the tournament in the USA.
In 1993, he was the first one of Nigerians who was recognized as the best soccer player in Africa. Rashidi Yekini began his club career at home, then played for the Portuguese “Vitoria Setubal,” the Greek “Olympiacos,” the Spanish “Sporting,” the Swiss “Zurich.”
Who else wrote their name in the history of the favorite sport of Nigerians? In no particular order, here is the list of the best Nigerian soccer players of all time.
Stephen Keshi – the Best Nigerian Player and Coach
Nigeria has presented to the world dozens of cool soccer players and only one coach – Stephen Keshi. You can easily write the whole project on how this person has changed African soccer, but we will try to explain it shortly.
Yes, he did not play for the big boys and confined himself to “Anderlecht.” No, Nigerian fans have never gone crazy over him (they had Rashidi Yekini, JJ Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, etc.) But Keshi has raised the most talented generation of players in the history of soccer in Nigeria.
He was the captain of the Nigerian national team at the triumphant CAN-1994, and six months later, together with partners, he won the group at the World Cup, leaving behind Argentina with Diego Maradona himself. Few African players have achieved that.
Sunday Olise, who is known for playing for Juventus Turin, Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund, Cologne, and Genk is the uncle of midfielder Sek Olisa, who managed to play for CSKA Moscow. In 2015, Sunday Olise became a coach of the national team of Nigeria.
Finidi George – The Fastest Nigerian in Soccer
A Nigerian midfielder with a height of 191 cm hit the lottery starting
the career of a soccer player in Ajax in 1993. “We had no money. I gave my
3,000 pounds for a Nigerian. Just imagine, I bought a player myself!” –
remembered the trainer of “Ajax” Louis van Gaal. Finidi three times became the
champion of the Netherlands, and in 1995 won the Champions League, Super Bowl,
and Intercontinental. In the club, he was considered one of the fastest soccer
players, Finidi could run100 m in less than 12 seconds. However, after 85 matches
and 18 goals in Amsterdam, George went to “Betis” in 1996, then there were two attempts
to go to “Mallorca,” where he ended his career as a soccer player.
Finidi made his debut for the Nigerian team in 1991, and a year later, he won the Africa Cup. The peak of his achievements was in 1994, when “Super Eagles” became the best on the continent. In 2013, Finidi attended a coaching internship in the Dutch “Zwolle.” Now, he plays for the veterans of “Ajax” and basks in the sun of Mallorca, where he has a home. By the way, his name means “the future filled with the sun.”
“Jay–Jay” Okocha – One of the Most Famous Nigerian Soccer Players of All Time
Augustine Okocha not only wears his brother’s hand-me-downs but also the nickname – JJ. He was adored for the fact that he did on the pitch the same thing that millions of boys dreamed of in the yards.
The legendary Kang still has not forgiven him since Okocha made a fool of him in 1993. Oliver defended the gates of “Karlsruher,” and JJ played for “Eintracht.” The Nigerian player gathered three defenders around him, outsmarted them and finally struck. It was not a goal, it was “GOAAAL!”, the best in Bundesliga of that year.
Okocha won the Africa Cup-94, the Olympics-96, and received Turkish citizenship. His new name is Mohammed Yavuz. At 43, he runs the football federation of Delta, the oil-producing state of Nigeria. So, JJ is doing pretty well for himself.