Nigerian footballers have travelled far and wide plying their football trade in various leagues across the world in enjoying greener pastures with various degrees of successes. In this piece, Complete Sports’ SULAIMAN ALAO highlights the FIVE most decorated Nigerian stars to have played the round leather game. The quality of titles won is used to determine this ranking..
1. NwanKwo KANU
Former Nigeria international, Nwankwo Kanu is the undisputed ‘Golden Boy’ of Nigerlan football and remains the country’s most decorated player till date.
Kanu who starred for top European clubsides like Ajax Amsterdam, Inter Milan and Arsenal during his illustrious football career won over a dozen major trophies in a career that spanned two decades.
The lanky and immensely talented forward nicknamed Papilo started his international trophy-haul as a starry-eyed cadet player helping Nigeria to win the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Cup held in Japan.
Papilo never looked back since then as he went on to win one UEFA Champions League title; three Dutch Eredivisie titles; one Dutch Super Cup and one Intercontinental Cup with Ajax Amsterdam.
Kanu then won two Premier League titles; three English FA Cup titles and one English Super Cup with Arsenal while one of his FA Cup wins was with Portsmouth also in England. He also won one UEFA Super Cup with Inter Milan.
He led Nigeria’s U-23 team to win the historic football gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
The 1976-born player is the only Nigerian player to have won the African Footballer of the Year Award twice – 1996 and 1999.
Kanu’s Trophy List: Ajax: Eredivisie winner 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96; UEFA Champions League winner 1995; UEFA Super Cup winner 1995; Intercontinental Cup winner 1995
Inter Milan: UEFA Cup winner 1998
Arsenal: Premier League winner 2001-02, 2003-04, FA Cup winner 2002, 2003, FA Community Shield winner: 19999
Portsmouth: FA Cup winner 2008
Nigeria: FIFA U-17 World Cup 1993; Olympic Games gold medal 1996.
2. John Mikel OBI
Former Super Eagles skipper, John Mikel Obi comes second on the list of the most decorated Nigerian footballers.
The 1987-born talented midfielder who started out as a forward is in the twilight of his career and has won about 10 trophies so far in a career that has seen him feature in Norway, England, China and Turkey.
Mikel won all his major club football trophies with Chelsea where he spent a decade and is one of the few elite Nigerian players to have won the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy with the Blues in 2012.
He also won two Premier League titles; four English FA Caps; two English League Cup; one English Super Cup as well as one Europa League Cup all with Chelsea.
On the national scene, Mikel was a key member of the Nigerian team that won the 2013 African Cup of Nations held in South Africa.
Mikel’s Trophy List:
Chelsea: English Premier League: 2009/2010,
2014/2015; English FA Cup Winner: 2006/2007,
2008/2009, 2011/2012; UEFA Champions League Winner 2011/2012; English League Cup Winner 2006/2007; UEFA Europa League winner 2012/2013; FA CommunityShield 2012/2013
Nigeria: Africa Cup of Nations winner 2013
3. Finidi GEORGE
Former Nigeria international winger, Finidi George is the third in the enviable list of Nigeria’s most decorated players.
Nicknamed ‘Finito’ for his finese and excellent crossesSfrom the right flank, Finidi won close to ten major trophies in his career that saw him play in thee Netherlands, Spain and England.
Finidi, like Mikel, won all of his major trophies while starring for Dutch side, Ajax Amsterdam within three seasons spanning 1993-1996.
The 1971-born winger is among the elite list of
Nigerian stars to have won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax in 1995.
He then went on to win three Dutch Eredivisie titles; two Dutch Super Cups; one Intercontinental Cup; one Europa Pokal and one UEFA Super Cup all with Ajax.
On the national scene, Finidi was a key member of the Super Eagles team that won the 1994 African Cup of Nations.
Finidi’s Trophy List: Ajax: Eredivisie Cup 1993/1994, 1994/1995, 1995/1996, Johan Cruijff Shield 1994, 1995, UEFA Champions League 1994/1995, UEFA Super Cup 1995, Intercontinental Cup 1996 Nigeria: Africa Cup of Nations winner 1994.
4. Daniel AMOKACHI
Former Nigeria international forward, Daniel Amokachi, ranks fourth on the list of the most Decorated Nigerian footballers in History.
Nicknamed The Bull’ for his bulky frame and all-action style, Amokachi enjoyed a sterling career that saw him star in Belgium, England, Turkey, United States and United Arab Emirates.
The 1972-born striker had the best of his trophy-laden career in Belgium and also recorded some successes in England and Turkey accumulating over a dozen domestic titles.
Amokachi won two Belgian Pro League titles; five Belgian Super Cup; one Belgian Cup all with Club Brugge.
He then won one English FA Cup and one English Super Cup with Everton. His stint in Turkey saw him win one Turkish Cup and one Turkish Super Cup with Besiktas. He was however, unable to win any UEFA trophy like the above-listed stars.
On the national scene, Amokachi was a key member of the Super Eagles team that won the 1994 African Cup of Nations as well as the Olympic football gold in Atlanta 1996.
Amokachi’s Trophy List: Club Brugge: Belgian Pro League 1989/1990,
1991/1992; Belgian Cup 1991; Belgian Super Cup 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995.
Everton: FA Cup 1994/1995, FA Charity Shield 1995s
Beşiktaş: Turkish Cup 1997/1998
Nigeria: African Cup of Nations Winner 1994, Olympic Games Gold Medal 1996.
5. Sunday OLISEH
Former Super Eagles skipper and coach, Sunday Oliseh comes into the fifth position on the list of the Nigerian footballers that won more titles at both the national and Club level.
Oliseh had a sterling career as one of Nigeria’s finest defensive midfielders who starred for top clubs in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.
Born in 1974, Oliseh won the Dutch Eredivisie title as well as two Dutch Cup during his time with Ajax Amsterdam in Holland.
The talented midfielder is also the only Nigerian player to have won the German Bundesliga title, a feat he achieved with Borussia Dortmund in the 2001/2002 season.
On the national scene, Oliseh was a key member of the Nigerian squad that won the 1994 African Cup of Nations held in Tunisia as well as the U-23 Dream Team that won the football gold medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics Games.
Oliseh’s Trophy List Ajax: Dutch Eredivisie title 1997/1998; Dutch Cup 1997/1998, 1998/1999
Borussia Dortmund: German Bundesliga title 2001/2002
Nigeria: African Cup of Nations Winner 1994, Olympic Games Gold Medal 1996.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.