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Top Three Nigerian Footballing Achievements

Top Three Nigerian Footballing Achievements

In Nigeria, football is a nationwide passion. The country has produced some of the finest topflight footballers currently playing in some of Europe’s biggest leagues, including the Premier League, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga to name but a few. These leagues, which a lot of people like to bet on using sports betting sites, have certainly placed Nigeria’s talent on the world stage.

Although Nigeria may not be able to boast about a trophy cabinet full to the brim with World Cups, the country is undoubtedly one of football’s rising forces. With prodigious youth teams shining the spotlight on the country’s footballing talent, it seems fitting that now, more than ever, we take a look at Nigeria’s top three footballing achievements.

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3. U17 World Cup Success

With Nigeria’s impressive track record when it comes to producing footballing prodigies, you would expect them to perform in youth age groups and competitions, such as youth World Cups. As a matter of fact, the Super Eagles are actually the most successful Under 17 team in the world, when it comes to winning their age group’s World Cup.

Between 1985 and 2015, Nigeria won the competition five times, with players such as Kelechi Ineanacho (Manchester City, Leicester) and Isaac Success (Watford) spearheading the Super Eagles to tournament victory.

Judging by the players that have already been produced domestically in Nigeria, we can expect their winning trend to continue, from their U17 squad and into the first team.

2. Established African Cup of Nations Winners

Nigeria has won the African Cup of Nations three times. When you look at the strength of some of the other countries in the tournament, this is quite an achievement. For example, in 2013, Ghana, Mali, and the Ivory Coast all participated in the tournament selecting players such as Mohamed Sissoko, Albert Adomah, and the Touré brothers.

Similarly, Nigeria has participated in the tournament 16 times since its inception; third to only Ivory Coast (19) and Ghana (18).

This shows a continuation of Nigeria’s production of domestic and world-class footballing talent, with many of the players in their AFCON squads performing in top European leagues at the time of each tournament. Similarly, Nigeria is now able to claim bragging rights in Africa as one of, if not the nation’s best footballing country.

The Nigerian Football Association have expressed their desires for young English-born Nigerian stars such as Ovie Ejaria (Reading) and Eberechi Eze (Queens Park Rangers) to represent the Super Eagles in upcoming tournaments, further emphasising the country’s footballing ambition.

If the Super Eagles can convince these young, yet established talents, to play for the national side, we could be in for a few shocks in the upcoming 2022 World Cup…

1. Famous players produced by Nigeria

Arguably, Nigeria’s biggest footballing achievement hasn’t come in the form of silverware, but in the form of the players that the nation has produced. A plethora of names come to mind when Nigerian footballing talent comes into the conversation. These include players such as Jay-Jay Okocha, who graced the Premier League with his silky skills, leading to fans dubbing him as ‘the player so good, they named him twice’.

Similarly, Nwankwo Kanu led many a striking force for clubs such as Ajax, Inter Milan, and Arsenal. Yakubu, Obafemi Martins, and Peter Odemwingie are also names familiar to European football fans.

In the present day, Nigerian football is represented in Europe by goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who worked his way up through domestic Nigerian football before getting his break with Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2007.

Enyeama then joined Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille and has been virtually ever-present between their goalposts. Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel, Alex Iwobi, and Victor Moses (as of last season) still play top-flight football in Europe. Obi Mikel is arguably the most successful out of those four names; however, Ndidi is establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s best midfielders at the current time.

Nigeria can be considered one of, if not the best, African footballing nation. The next Nigerian footballing generation is surely one to watch out for, as the Super Eagles look to cement a place on the world footballing stage in years to come. We look forward to seeing how they perform in the 2022 World Cup, should they qualify…

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