The Greatest Nigerian Footballer of All Time

Nigeria has produced a number of world class footballers who have all shone on the international stage by representing the national team. Also known as the “Super Eagles”, the Nigerian national team has continued to be one of the most successful African teams in both the African Cups of Nations and at the World Cup which is held every four years. With such an embarrassment of riches at their disposal, and aTunde Folawiyo long illustrious footballing pedigree, fans such as Nigerian football enthusiast Tunde Folawiyo and others continue to debate over who is the greatest Nigerian footballer of all time.

Regardless of the opinion held by different fans, many tend to mention the same names: Nwankwo Kanu, Jay-Jay Okocha, Rashidi Yekini, Taribo West, and Segun Odegbami to name but a few. All of these players, and several others who are often thrown into the mix, have all represented the Nigerian national team many times, showing their world class skills off to the footballing world. Deciding which player deserves to be crowned “the greatest” is one which continues to be fiercely contested by football enthusiasts.

Perhaps the most famous player amongst them is certainly Nwankwo Kanu. Playing for Arsenal in the most competitive football environment in the world, the English Premiere League, Kanu established himself as a firm fan favourite at the London club and an integral part of the successes which that particular Arsenal vintage achieved.  Following on from winning the Dutch league and Champions League with Ajax, Kanu secured two back to back titles for Arsenal, cementing his reputation as a Nigerian great.

Other players such as Segun Odegbami also achieved much, establishing a reputation as a wonderful talent. With 46 caps and 23 goals for the Nigerian national team, he became a firm fan favourite by being a member of the first ever Super Eagles team to win the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980. That win symbolised the true beginning of Nigeria as an international force to be reckoned with, and acted as the foundation for the country’s later successes.

It appears that Nigeria has such a long and important history of producing world class talent that it is almost impossible to choose one player as “the best”. Football fans, such as Tunde Folawiyo, continue to support the team and its future players regardless of who is deemed most talented, while being committed towards other African sporting initiatives such as those seen at the Polo International Tournament. This all-encompassing support of Nigerian sport is perhaps the biggest asset which the game of football has in the country.

In their more recent achievements, including winning the 2013 African Cup of Nations, the most recent crop of players may one day enter onto the lists of Nigerian fans’ favourites. This passion for supporting home grown talent is sure to fuel the continued production of world class footballers and other athletes, making it even more difficult to select one “best” footballer in the future—a problem which Nigerian football fans will welcome.

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