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Top 5 Nigerian Records In German Bundesliga History

Top 5 Nigerian Records In German Bundesliga History

The Bundesliga has always been rated as one of the top five leagues in the whole of Europe with representatives from all across the globe plying their trade in the German league.

Since the Bundesliga started way back in the year 1963, a whopping 61 years ago, the elite division of German football has been graced by 42 Nigerian players and counting.

With Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella set to win the Bundesliga title with Bayer Leverkusen today Sunday, April 14 2024, here are five Nigerian records in the history of the German top-flight as compiled by Complete Sports reporter, Oluyemi Ogunseyin…

HIGHEST GOALSCORER:

Jonathan Akpoborie (Hansa Rostock,VfB Stuttgart, VfL Wolfsburg – 144 appearances/61 goals/19 assists)

Former Nigerian striker, Jonathan Akpoborie spent the majority of his playing career in Germany playing for the likes of Hansa Rostock, VfB Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg.

Also Read: Boniface, Tella Look To Join Oliseh, Ojigwe In History Books As Nigerian Bundesliga Champions

Akpoborie who is now 55-years-old is the highest-scoring Nigerian player in the history of the German Bundesliga after finding the back of the net 61 times in 144 games.

The burly forward was a predatory finisher at his very best and a regular source of goals for several top-flight sides in the German top-flight during his playing days.

Akpoborie had spells with FC Carl Zeiss Jena and Stuttgart Kickers for whom he scored 37 goals in one season and Waldhof Mannheim before finally joining Rostock in 1995.

After spending two years at Hansa, he moved to Bundesliga rivals, Stuttgart and then Wolfsburg in 1999. Akpoborie finished his playing career at Saarbrücken in 2002.

MOST APPEARANCES:

Akpoborie also holds the record as the Nigerian with the most Bundesliga appearances, having played 144 of such matches for the trio of Rostock, Stuttgart and Wolfsburg.

MOST ASSISTS:

Victor Agali (Hansa Rostock, Schalke 04 – 143 appearances/32 goals/24 assists)

Victor Agali has made the highest number of assists as a Nigerian in the history of the German Bundesliga after setting his team-mates up on 24 occasions.

The retired Super Eagles striker spent a total number of seven seasons playing in the German top-flight for both Hansa Rostock and Schalke 04.

Having enjoyed their first taste of a prolific Nigerian frontman, Hansa reacted to Jonathan Akpoborie’s departure by signing Agali a year later.

Just 20 at the time, the Okpanam native hit six goals and four assists in 22 top-flight outings in his debut season.

With a powerful 6’4” frame, he was the ideal target man, holding up the ball well to bring teammates into play. Eleven more goals followed over 44 appearances in the next two seasons.

This prompted Schalke to swoop for his services that summer. 14 goals in 54 Bundesliga games was Agali’s haul over the next three seasons.

After Akpoborie, he is the second-highest Nigerian appearance maker in the Bundesliga with 143 and second-highest scorer with 32 goals.

MOST TITLE WINNERS (1): 

Sunday Oliseh (Cologne, Borussia Dortmund – 139 appearances/6 goals/14 assists)

Pascal Ojigwe (Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia M’gladbach – 42 appearances/0 goal/0 assist)

Sunday Oliseh and Pascal Ojigwe are the only Nigerian players to have ever won the Bundesliga title with the former winning it with Borussia Dortmund during the 2001–02 season.

Ojigwe on his own part was a German league winner during his days as a Kaiserslautern player back during the 1997/98 season. He, however, played a few matches but was given a medal.

Ojigwe may be one of the more unheralded players on this list, but he is nevertheless more than worthy of his place on it.

Making use of strength and energy as well as an admirable composure, Oliseh often dominated the midfield as Dortmund romped to a Bundeliga title and a UEFA Cup back in the year 2002.

Several players in the Bundesliga are known for their ferocious shooting, and Nigerian defensive midfielder, Oliseh may just be the pick of the bunch.
In Germany, first with Cologne and later with Dortmund, he honed the skills that would make him an early archetype for the ‘African Midfielder’ role successfully demonstrated by Yaya Toure today, among a collection of revered others.

Oliseh was also an Eredivisie winner with Ajax, and a key part of the Nigeria side that claimed continental gold in 1994 and then the highest spot on the podium at the ’96 Olympics.

MOST SEASONS: 9

Anthony Ujah (Mainz 05 2011–13; FC Cologne, Werder Bremen 2014–16; Union Berlin 2017–2022)

Anthony Ujah is the Nigerian player to have spent the most number of seasons in the Bundesliga with the striker playing for four clubs in eight campaigns in the German top-flight.

Still 33, Ujah has spent the best part of the last decade in Germany. After impressing at Norwegian club, Lilleström, Mainz won the race for his signature in 2011.

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A hard-working centre forward, Ujah excels at some of the more unglamorous aspects of the game: holding the ball up, pressing defenders and making runs to open space.

He’s handy in front of goal as well though, as evinced by the number of Bundesliga clubs that have signed him. Following two goals in 12 games for Mainz in his debut season, the Ugbokolo native began to show his true colours in 2014/15.

That was when he hit the back of the net 10 times in 32 appearances for Cologne, and then 11 in 32 the following year for Bremen.

Following a two-year spell in China, he returned to the Bundesliga with Mainz in 2018 before switching to Union Berlin a year later.

Although not a first-choice forward largely due to Taiwo Awoniyi’s emergence, he scored three times in 24 games in the 2019/20 season.

Ujah is also the third-highest scoring Nigerian in Bundesliga history overall with 30 goals in 136 games while he has ten assists to his name.


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