Complete Sports’ Super Eagles Team Of The Decade: Enyeama, Mikel Top List

Complete Sports’ Super Eagles Team Of The Decade: Enyeama, Mikel Top List

The conclusion of the year 2019 marked the end of another decade in which Nigerian football went through a lot of ups and downs.

From the year 2010 up until last year, the Nigerian senior male national team gave the country a lot to cheer about and also a few things to worry about.

Complete Sports’ OLUYEMI OGUNSEYIN takes a look at the eleven players who make up the Super Eagles Team of the decade ((2010-2019)

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Vincent ENYEAMA (Goalkeeper)
Club: Unattached/Retired

Vincent Enyeama is without doubt Nigeria’s best goalkeeper of the recently-concluded decade, having held down the Super Eagles’ number one position from 2010 to 2015 until a dispute between him and former manager, Sunday Oliseh.

Enyeama was actually a member of the Nigerian national team from 2002 until October 2015, serving as captain from 2013 until his retirement from international football. With 101 caps, he is Nigeria’s most capped player of all time.

In the 2009/2010 season, Hapoel Tel Aviv won the Israeli league and cup double with Enyeama featuring prominently. He scored a goal in the Cup final but missed a penalty in the last fixture of the year which Hapoel eventually won by scoring in the 92nd minute, thereby capturing the league title.

On 18 August 2010, he scored his first goal of the 2010–11 season with a penalty against Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League qualifiers. Hapoel also won the Israeli cup again.

Enyeama left French side, Lille on a one-year loan deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2012 and went on to win the Israeli championship title.

During the first half of the 2013–14 season with Lille, the 37-year-old shot-stopper kept eleven straight clean-sheets in French Ligue 1 matches.

He also came within 114 minutes of equalling Gaëtan Huard’s Ligue 1 goalkeeping record, set in 1993 of playing 1,176 minutes without conceding a goal.

Enyeama made his second FIFA World Cup appearance in 2010 in South Africa where he was named man of the match in Nigeria’s first game, making six fine saves against Argentina, four of them from Lionel Messi.

At the 2013 African Cup of Nations which also took place in South Africa, Enyeama deputized for regular captain, Joseph Yobo and led Nigeria to its third continental title, keeping a clean-sheet in a 1–0 win over Burkina Faso in the final.

Enyeama made Nigeria’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and helped the Super Eagles reach the knockout stages for the first time in 16 years.

William TROOST-EKONG(Defender/Centre-back)
Club: Udinese (Italy)

William Troost-Ekong made his senior international debut for the Super Eagles of Nigeria in 2015 after playing 90 minutes in
an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Chad.
Born in the Netherlands into a mixed Dutch and Nigerian family and being eligible for both Netherlands and Nigeria in international football, he opted to represent the latter.

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The rock-solid central defender was part of Nigeria’s squad to the 2018 FIFA World Cup which took place in Russia and was also a vital member of the team that won bronze at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.

Troost-Ekong appears to have had a perfect understanding with Leon Balogun in the heart of the Super Eagles’ defense but in recent times, he has struck a great partnership with Omeruo which looks set to last for at least the next five years.

Kenneth OMERUO (Defender/Centre-back)
Club: Leganes (Spain)

On 9 January, 2013 at the very young age of 19, Kenneth Omeruo made his Super Eagles debut in a goalless draw against Cape Verde in the African Cup of Nations which was hosted by South Africa.

The central defender thereafter went on to play in all of Nigeria’s matches at the 2013 AFCON as Nigeria went ahead to cart home the continental trophy for the third time.

Omeruo also starred in all of Nigeria’s three group games at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. The ex-Chelsea centre-half started all four games which Nigeria played at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

He scored his first goal for the Super Eagles in a 1-0 victory against Guinea in the 2019 African Cup of Nations and was a key part of the team that went on to clinch the bronze medal in Egypt.
At club level, though, Omeruo never got to settle down at Chelsea who sent him out on loan until last summer when he joined Leganes on a permanent deal. Still only 26, Omeruo seems to have been around for ages.

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Efe AMBROSE (Defender/Right full-back)
Club: Unattached

It is surprising to note that Efe Ambrose actually started his football career as a central defender despite excelling as a right full-back for the Super Eagles and the plethora of clubs he played for.

Ambrose played a key role when Nigeria won the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa and was also involved in back to back tournaments which held in Brazil (2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2014 FIFA World Cup).

From 2012 that he moved to Scotland, he won five league titles in a row. At Celtic, Ambrose won the league title four straight times and after joining Hibernian in the Scottish second tier, he also won the Championship title.

The tall player did not even stop at that after picking up the Scottish Cup in the 2012–13 season and the Scottish League Cup during the 2014–15 campaign both with Celtic.

Elderson ECHIEJILE (Defender/Left full-back)
Club: Unattached

Elderson Echiejile started every game for Nigeria when the Super Eagles picked up their third African Cup of Nations title in South Africa in the year 2013 which was certainly the team’s greatest achievement of the decade.

The left full-back also found the back of the net on one occasion in that very tournament, netting the West Africans’ opening goal in a 4-1 demolition of Mali in the semi-final.

Echiejile featured twice at the 2010 World Cup but unfortunately missed out in 2014 through injury. The former Monaco defender was also never on the losing side in 18 World Cup qualifiers (13 wins and five draws).

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John Obi MIKEL (Midfielder)
Club: Trabzonspor (Turkey)

The best and most consistent Nigerian football player of the just-concluded decade, John Mikel Obi played at the highest level and won every trophy available in club football.

He played at Chelsea for eleven years, winning the Premier League title in 2009–10 and 2014–15, FA Cup in 2006–07, 2008–09 and 2011–12 and Football League Cup in 2006–07.

The other trophies the former Super Eagles skipper won during his days with the Blues are the FA Community Shield in 2009, UEFA Champions League in 2011–12 and Europa League in 2012–13.

Mikel moved to China with Tianjin TEDA in 2017 and after two years, he returned to England on a short-term deal with Middlesbrough before joining Trabzonspor on a free transfer in July 2019.

In a 14-year international career between 2005 and 2019, he played 88 times for Nigeria, scoring six goals. At the 2013 African Cup of Nations, Mikel was a key player for Nigeria as they went on to win their third title.

In July 2019, he said that the 2019 AFCON which held in Egypt would be his last tournament for Nigeria. He retired at the end of the competition in which Nigeria came third.

Ogenyi ONAZI (Midfielder)
Club: Trabzonspor (Turkey)

Ogenyi Onazi just like Omeruo got into the team as a green-horn for the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa and by the time the tournament had ended, he had kept the defensive midfield position for himself.

He was one of Nigeria’s better players at the 2014 World Cup which was hosted by Brazil and remained a regular in the team until the 2018 World Cup where he was an unused substitute.

Onazi was expectedly left out of the national teams provisional squad to AFCON 2019 after failing to fully recover from an Achilles injury suffered in December 2018 while playing for his club in Turkey.

Victor MOSES (Midfielder)
Club: (Chelsea, England on loan at Fenerbahce, Turkey)

The beginning of the decade saw the emergence of an exciting midfielder/winger, Victor Moses who caught the eyes with his performances for Wigan Athletic in the English Premier League.

He secured a transfer to Chelsea where he made ten appearances as they won the Europa League in the 2012/2013 season. It took him three seasons before he could feature for the Blues again.

That season under Antonio Conte, Moses took up the position of a wing-back impressively to help Chelsea to a Premier League title win and an FA Cup trophy the following term.

His Super Eagles debut was an exciting moment for Nigerians who were happy to have had the player switch his allegiance to the country after playing at the youth levels for England.

He was one of Super Eagles best players as the Nigerian national team won the 2013 African Cup of Nations title in South Africa and was duly named in CAF’s Best XI of the tournament.

Moses played for Nigeria at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups and after the Mundial in Russia, it was announced by Moses on 15 August, 2018 that he had retired from international football.

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Ahmed MUSA (Winger/Forward)
Club: (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia)

Current captain of the Super Eagles and a veteran of two World Cups and two Nations Cup. Four World Cup goals, an African Cup of Nations title and bronze medal are just enough for Musa to register his name in this auspicious list of top eleven performers in the hallowed Green and White jersey for the decade under review.

Musa’s performances for Nigeria are quite peculiar, he has seldom thrived in continental competitions but has been the Super Eagles’ top man at the last two World Cups.

He netted two really good goals in an unfortunate 3-2 defeat by Argentina in 2014 and repeated the trick against Iceland last year by scoring another fine pair of strikes in a 2-0 win.

While his brace wasn’t enough to take Rohr’s side through, the 27-year-old has somewhat made himself the nation’s unofficial go-to guy at World Cups in this decade.

Emmanuel EMENIKE (Striker)
Club: (Unattached)

Emmanuel Emenike did not spend much time as a Super Eagles player but made his presence felt with important contributions from the year 2011 to 2014.

He emerged as the top-scorer at the 2013 African Cup of Nations and scorer of crucial qualifying goals for the Super Eagles en route to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

On 20 October 2015 he announced his retirement from international level. At club level, the striker won the TFF First League title with Karabukspor in 2009–10, the Turkish Super Lig (2013–14) and Turkish Super Cup (2014) with Fenerbahce.

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Odion IGHALO (Striker)
Club: (Shanghai Shenhua, China)

Odion Ighalo made his debut for Nigeria in the year 2015. He represented the nation at the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 African Cup of Nations, finishing the latter tournament in third place and being crowned top scorer.

For the striker, though, his turnaround in the green jersey in the months after the World Cup in Russia was somewhat unexpected.

His goals return was criticised and the vitriol after his gilt-edged miss against Argentina in the country’s final group game was beyond embarrassing.

However, the Shanghai Shenhua forward rose above the abuse to finish as the top-scorer at the 2019 AFCON qualifiers with seven goals before following that up with five strikes in Egypt as top-scorer.

Ighalo retired after the competition, thus following the adage to quit when the ovation is loudest.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 14
  • Mr Streams 2 weeks ago

    ighalo should be replace with Brown Ideye…why is Osaze & Obafemi martins not Listed???

     
  • Pompei 2 weeks ago

    Solid lineup. Every player is there on merit.

     
  • Onazi over Ndidi Lolzzzz!!!!!!!. Please. Ahmed Musa flash in the Pan Lolzz!!!. everybody else deserves it

     
    • Yes, Ndidi deserved a place. Maybe for his age. Increase the number to 14 making room for the 3 substitutes. Ndidi, Obafemi Martins, Etebo should be included somehow.

       
  • nigeria team of the decade not nigeria team of the year @iwunze i can see you dont know anything about football onazi deserve to be there he performed very well and won the afcon 2013. Ndidi is just good. Musa deserve to be there he was our best player in 2014 and 2018 w/cup. He scored two goals against agentina in 2014 and scored two against iceland in 2018.

     
  • Late keshi is the coach of the decade. I have been waiting for GR fans to say something. Gr has not done more than our previous coaches i said it here last time dr drey and his boys wanted to kill me we cant stop saying the truth. Nff should go for a better coach nigeria is too big to celebrat afcon bronz.

     
    • Adisboy 2 weeks ago

      Stan,your said coaches but right term should be coach – singular. GR has clearly done better than any other coach except Keshi. The edge Keshi has is that he won a trophy, but when it comes to number of matches won in total even win rate, it is GR.

       
      • Dr. Drey 2 weeks ago

        Very wonderful reply.

        Keshi only edges Rohr with that singular cup winning feat.

        But if we won’t lie to ourselves….apart from the Mali and Tahiti, winning games was always a struggle…home or away, it was one excuse to another…we struggled against Malawi, against Kenya, against Sudan, against Ethiopia, against Swaziland, against Congo. Let’s not even talk about when we play teams that were our mates. Even Tahiti other teams were defeating by double figures…we struggled to put just 6 past them. Unlike now when we can afford to watch the SE play the likes of Brazil with a bottle of beer by our left and some barbecue by our right.

        Some of these people praising keshi now we’re calling him “gather and play” coach back then (ask omo9ja). We saw players who couldn’t kick balls in training make our WC squad, we saw players who had chicken pox make our AFCON squad, we saw players who were playing in reserve teams get regular call ups, even a certain NYSC boy who hadnt even turned Pro yet got selected to be on the bench in a crucial AFCON qualifier and was even handed the no 10 jersey. Even the club coach of one of the players selected into out WC team was shocked, because the dude had not played even a 5-a-side for his club in 6months leading to the WC.

        Aside from Westerhoff…our best win ratio ever has come under Rohr.

        This soup he is cooking is still on fire….very soon, (if the NFF will allow) the soup will the ready to eat…and we shall drink from the AFCON cup come 2021. And all these mayday will be shut up for good. Lolz

         
  • Osaze odemwingie deserves a place in the team how ever u want to analise. Osaze took part in two worldcup 2010 and 2014 and scored the goal that took us to second round. Played verry well at 2014 world cup compared to ighalo 2018 performers at the 2018 edition, osaze also won bronze at afcon 2010 with goals aswell . Did well betwin lokomotive and westbrom in same period. for me he is ahead of ighalo in the last decade

     
  • Larry 2 weeks ago

    Ekong ahead of Yobo is highly disrespectful.
    Yobo is far ahead of all the backline in terms of contribution and productivity.

     
    • @Larry I am in the balance with you on that matter my only objection is that Yobo retired to early in the decade if it was best 11 of 2000’s the case wold be stronger Godfrey Oboabona is even in better standing than Yobo in this decade.if we really have to be fair.

       
  • Larry 2 weeks ago

    @Ugo, I hope you have proofs to back up your comment. Yobo is the joint recond appearance holder for SE. Played in 3 world cups. Won the African Nations Cup, won the league title in Europe (Fernabache) and participated in several african and european competition.
    I stand to be corrected, Yobo holds the record for the highest transfer fees paid for a Nigerian defender.. May be Torino paid more for Aina.
    Yobo and Osaze deserves to be in that team.
    Enyeama

    Taiwo Yobo, Omeruo, Ambrose

    Mikel, Ndidi,

    Moses, Osaze, Musa

    Martins

     
  • Mr Hush 2 weeks ago

    Every list of the best is always subjective and a matter of choice; but objectively,this list Is about just right.
    Based on the fact they are picking the best Nigerian player for the decade,that is in the last 10 years( I presume 2009/2010- 2019/2020); not before.
    So on the basis of that timeline,we could comprehensively be objective with our pickings.
    Enyeama was overwhelmingly on top of his game this period for both club and country.

    Ambrose held his own for club and country as well.
    Elderson was good for club and country as well in the early part of the decade and just sneaked into the list based on the fact that there wasn’t really a competition with him for the left back position across that period.
    Ekong came into the frame during this period,growing from strength to strength.
    On that contrary, he isn’t the one to take Yobo’s place on the list but Omeruo.
    This decade gave birth to the rise of Omeruo and he has only kept growing; and by that he systematically shut out Yobo from the list. Yes. Yobo has served Nigeria well and his record speaks for itself,but most happened before this past decade. Yobo was in the twilight of his career during this period and didn’t really put much of a shift,especially for country. He lost his place in the national team and retired high enough. So for me,he shouldn’t be on the list.
    Mikel was at his prime. Onazi too. They both held their own through the decade and only just faded as the decade closes out. So yes,Onazi over Ndidi, as it concerns the period in time being scrutinised. Not in anyway comparing both players or such,but regarded that period in time,Onazi held high. With all due respect,Ndidi is just getting into the block.he should rule from the present to the foreseeable future.

    Musa deservedly hold sway here. Arguably,has been the most consistent attacker in the past decade as it relates to the national team.
    Victor Moses also deserves his place.
    Ighalo began his reign during this decade,from his time in Granada to Watford and his exploits with the national team .He even ended the decade in an all time high.so yes ,he deserves his place.

    Then the argument would be between Emenike,Ideye,Martins,Ike Uche,And Osaze.
    And my pick would be Emenike. For the obvious fact that in the period he did more for the national team than the rest. Martins wasn’t really in the national team during this time and was more of a club man(in not too tough leagues like Mls and Csl). Osaze ,like Yobo, was at the last stage of his amazing career,so didn’t really do much this period.was more of a veteran. And Ideye, didn’t really take his chance at the club level and was more of a second act in the national team. He wasn’t the main guy. Emenike was.

    So,I believe the list comprised by Completesports was well thought out and rightfully so…

     
  • Chinenye 2 weeks ago

    For those of you calling Ndidi, he only saw his career blosom towards the end of the decade which isn’t enough to see him make the list. The healing clearly stated “team of the decade” not team of the year. Onazi was deservedly included