If you know how many Nigerian footballers are playing for other countries you would see that the Super Eagles could have probably lifted the FIFA World Cup already!
Think I’m exaggerating? Wait till you see the list of Nigerian footballers playing for other countries that I’m about reeling out.
Beyond the World Cup, even the Africa Cup of Nations would have been a permanent trophy in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Glass House.
Here are 6 Nigerian footballers playing for other countries;
1. Dele Alli
Bamidele Jermaine Alli, simply known as Dele Alli, is a 26-year-old English professional soccer player currently playing as a defensive midfielder for Everton and the England national team.
Born and raised in Milton Keynes, England, Dele is of Nigerian descent. Seven years ago, he made his first start for the England senior team, scoring a winning goal against France at Wembley Stadium.
He was selected for the 23-man England squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He scored the second goal of the game in a winning game against Sweden in the quarter-finals of the competition, as England reached the semi-finals for the first time in 28 years.
Dele played for England in the semi-final match against Croatia, winning a free-kick through which England took the lead, though they eventually lost following extra-time.
2. Ross Barkley
Ross Barkley is a 28-year-old English professional football player who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for the English club, Chelsea.
Originally from Nigeria, Barkley was capped for the England senior squad in 2013, and earned his first senior cap the following month, coming on as a substitute in a World Cup qualifier winning game against Moldova at Wembley.
He was named in the England squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and made his first World Cup appearance in England’s opening defeating game against Italy in Manaus. He played the full match in England’s final group equalizing game against Costa Rica.
3. Karim Adeyemi
Karim-David Adeyemi is a 20-year-old German professional footballer currently playing as a striker for Red Bull Salzburg and the Germany national team.
Originally from Nigeria, Adeyemi made his debut appearance for the Germany senior team in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification winning match against Armenia, coming on as a late substitute and scoring his side’s sixth goal in the first minute of second-half injury time.
4. Ado Onaiwu
Ado Onaiwu is a Japanese professional footballer of Nigerian descent currently playing as a forward for Toulouse and the Japan national team.
Onaiwu made his first international appearance for Japan in a friendly match with Serbia. Four days later, he scored a hat-trick against Kyrgyzstan at a FIFA World Cup match.
5. David Alaba
David Olatukunbo Alaba is an Austrian professional soccer player who plays as a central midfielder for Real Madrid and the Austria national team.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Alaba is of Nigerian descent. In 2009, he was called up to the senior Austria national team for a match against France. He scored his first goal for Austria in a FIFA World Cup match.
David ended the 2014 FIFA World Cup group game as Austria’s top scorer with six goals. He captained Austria for the first time in a 2018 World Cup winning game against Moldova.
6. Thomas Lemar
Thomas Lemar is a 26-year-old French professional footballer presently playing as a midfielder for Atlético Madrid and the France national team.
Lemar received his call-up to the senior France squad in 2016. His first international goals for the senior team was in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match against the Netherlands, where he scored twice as France won.
He was included in the 23-man French squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He made his only appearance of the tournament in France’s final group match against Denmark.
On 15 July, France won the World Cup for the second time in their history after defeating Croatia in the final of the competition.
Lemar is of Nigerian and Guadeloupean descent. His grandfather played for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.