Top 10 best Nigerian soccer players in history (update 2024)

10/05/2024 Betting News

Nigeria is a powerhouse when it comes to football among African nations. It’s no surprise that this team has won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) three times, making them the fourth most successful national team in the tournament. Over the years, the country has produced mesmerizing players across all positions, captivating the world of football. “Top 10 best Nigerian soccer players all off time” is a topic that many fans are interested in. To bring a fresh perspective to sports news, Wintips presents the following Top 10 list.

The best Nigerian soccer players in history
The best Nigerian soccer players in history

The most Nigerian soccer players – Top 10 pick

1. John Obi Mikel

Chelsea emerged victorious in the transfer battle for the signature of John Obi Mikel over Manchester United. Prior to that, the young player Mikel attracted attention from Premier League giants due to his stellar performance at the U17 World Cup 2003.

The best Nigerian soccer players in history
The Best Nigerian Star in History – John Obi Mikel

The Nigerian midfielder spent 11 years with Chelsea, featuring in 372 matches. He clinched numerous titles, including 2 Premier League championships, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 1 Champions League and Europa League. At the international level, John Obi Mikel represented Nigeria 91 times and was part of the Best XI of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

2. Wilfried Ndidi

After N’golo Kante’s departure, Wilfried Ndidi was tasked with filling the void left by his senior teammate in the midfield of Leicester City. In his early days with the “Foxes,” the Nigerian midfielder showcased rapid integration.

Africa's top central midfielder now names Wilfried Ndidi
Africa’s top central midfielder now names Wilfried Ndidi

In his debut Premier League season, no player had more accurate tackles than Ndidi. During the 2020/21 season, Ndidi played a significant role in helping Leicester clinch the FA Cup for the first time in their history, before defeating Manchester City to lift the Community Shield trophy.

3. Yakubu Ayegbeni – Best Nigerian soccer players

Yakubu Ayegbeni, commonly known as Yakubu, is the Nigerian footballer with the most goals in Premier League history and ranks fourth among African players to have graced the English top flight. Y. Ayegbeni netted 95 goals in 252 appearances in the Premier League, making him one of only five players to record a hat-trick for three different clubs (Blackburn, Everton, and Portsmouth).

Y. Ayegbeni has played for many big clubs in the EPL
Y. Ayegbeni has played for many big clubs in the EPL

Portsmouth marked Yakubu’s initial Premier League destination. He scored 42 goals in 92 appearances for the Fratton Park outfit, with a notable achievement being his four-goal haul against Middlesbrough in the 2003/04 season. In 2007, Everton shattered the then-transfer record by splashing out £11.25 million to acquire Yakubu’s services.

4. Nwankwo Kanu

Nwankwo Kanu is remembered as one of the first African players to make a name for himself in the Premier League. Kanu signed with Ajax in 1993, after impressing with the Netherlands national youth team at the U17 World Cup held the same year. In 1999, Kanu joined Arsenal.

Kanu legend makes a name for himself in the Premier League
Kanu legend makes a name for himself in the Premier League

At Highbury, the Nigerian forward scored 44 goals in 198 appearances for the Gunners and won 2 Premier League titles with the club. After departing from the London-based team, Kanu moved to Portsmouth, where he added the FA Cup trophy in 2008 to his list of achievements.

5. Jay-Jay Okocha – Best Nigerian soccer players

Jay-Jay Okocha’s move to Bolton on a free transfer was nothing short of a “blast.” Prior to that, Okocha had made a name for himself during stints with Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, and PSG. Thanks to his artistic style of play and flair for technical wizardry on the field.

The best Nigerian soccer players in history
Nigerian Legend Popular – Jay-Jay Okocha

Okocha quickly endeared himself to Bolton fans and Premier League audiences alike. Despite fitness issues, the Nigerian maestro played a pivotal role in helping the club avoid relegation. Okocha made a total of 142 appearances for Bolton, with his highest achievement being reaching the League Cup final in 2004.

6. Obafemi Martins

Obafemi Martins is a former professional footballer from Nigeria, renowned for his exceptional speed, strength, and incredible goal-scoring ability. He was born on October 28, 1984, in Lagos, Nigeria, and began his football career in Europe with the club Reggiana in Italy before moving to Inter Milan, where he rose to fame.

The best Nigerian soccer players in history
Martins with Inter Milan win Serie A

During his time at Inter Milan, Martins scored many important goals and won several titles, including the Serie A and Coppa Italia. His agility and powerful shooting ability helped him become one of the most sought-after forwards in Europe.

7. Ahmed Musa

Ahmed Musa is a professional footballer from Nigeria, known for his speed, technique, and excellent goal-scoring ability. Born on October 14, 1992, in Jos, Nigeria, Musa plays as a winger and has played for several clubs across Europe and Asia, as well as representing the Nigerian national team in many international tournaments.

The best Nigerian soccer players in history
A. Musa is a top player of Nigerian football

Musa’s club career began at the GBS Football Academy in Nigeria before moving to JUTH FC and then Kano Pillars, where he emerged as one of the top forwards in the Nigeria Premier League. His goal-scoring prowess attracted attention from European clubs, and he moved to VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands in 2010.

8. Vincent Enyeama – Best Nigerian soccer players

Vincent Enyeama, with his remarkable career spanning over a century of appearances for the Nigerian national team, stands as one of the most revered figures in Nigerian football history. His journey as a goalkeeper is not only a testament to his talent and dedication but also a reflection of his enduring impact on the sport in his homeland and beyond.

One of the most capped players for Nigeria - V. Enyeama
One of the most capped players for Nigeria – V. Enyeama

Enyeama’s rise to prominence began on the football fields of Nigeria, where his natural talent between the posts caught the attention of scouts and coaches early on. His impressive performances for local clubs paved the way for his professional career, which would soon see him don the colors of some of Europe’s most esteemed clubs.

9. Kelechi Iheanacho – Best Nigerian soccer players

Kelechi Iheanacho is a professional footballer from Nigeria, playing as a forward. Born on October 3, 1996, in Imo, Nigeria, Iheanacho is renowned for his goal-scoring ability as well as his talent in creating opportunities for his teammates. He is regarded as one of Nigeria’s top footballing talents and has played for leading clubs in Europe.

Iheanacho was trained by City as a top striker
Iheanacho was trained by City as a top striker

Iheanacho’s career began to shine prominently at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he helped Nigeria clinch the championship title and received the FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Ball award as the tournament’s outstanding player. Following that impressive tournament, he joined Manchester City, where he commenced his professional career in Europe.

10. Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen is a professional footballer from Nigeria, playing as a forward. Born on December 29, 1998, in Lagos, Nigeria, Osimhen has quickly emerged as one of the world’s top young strikers due to his speed, physical strength, aerial ability, and sharp goal-scoring instinct.

The best Nigerian soccer players in history
Striker Victor Osimhen is being sought after by the whole of Europe

Osimhen’s career began to attract international attention after his stellar performance at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he won the Golden Boot award and helped the Nigerian national team clinch the championship title. His impressive display paved the way for a move to Europe, where he joined Germany’s Wolfsburg in 2017.


Nigerian players are renowned for their skill, resilience, and ambition to conquer titles wherever they go. They are also known among fans for their humble demeanor and team spirit off the field. For decades, legendary Nigerian footballers have represented their national team and played for various top clubs across Europe and the rest of the world. Here is the best Nigerian soccer players list from the admin of the reviews international betting site website. Hopefully, this list will satisfy you and increase your fondness for our website.

See also: The best Mexican soccer player all of time – Hugo Sánchez No. 1

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