The Top 10 Most Searched Footballers In Nigeria 2023
The Top 10 Most Searched Footballers In Nigeria 2023

Nigeria has produced some of the best footballers in the world over the past few decades. The passion and remarkable talents of Nigerian footballers have seen them light up leagues across Europe and other parts of the globe. In 2023, some Nigerian footballers continue to dominate the headlines due to their impressive performances and achievements at both club and international levels. This article examines the Top 10 Most Searched Footballers In Nigeria based on their impact, popularity, and accomplishments in their careers so far.

Top 10 Most Searched Footballers In Nigeria 2023

#1 – Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen tops the list as the most searched footballer from Nigeria in 2023. The 24-year-old striker is beloved by many due to his exploits at Italian giants Napoli. In the 2022-23 season, Osimhen scored 18 goals in 32 appearances across all competitions to help Napoli finish top of Serie A after the first half of the season.

With outstanding pace, strength, and finishing ability, Osimhen has established himself as one of the most lethal strikers in Europe. His exploits in the Nigerian national team have also endeared him to many football fans back home.

Career Highlights

  • Won the 2019 AFCON Bronze Medal with Nigeria
  • Scored 10 goals in 18 league appearances to fire Lille to the Ligue 1 title in 2020-21 season
  • Scored 18 goals so far in the 2022-23 season for Napoli
  • Named in the 2021-22 UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season

 

#2 – Ahmed Musa

Despite being in his thirties, Ahmed Musa continues to be one of the most admired Nigerian footballers due to his longevity and exploits for the national team. Musa holds the record for most appearances for Nigeria with 101 caps.

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The immensely skillful winger has represented Nigeria at two FIFA World Cup tournaments in 2014 and 2018. Musa also played professionally in the Premier League for Leicester City earlier in his career. Though now playing in Saudi Arabia, Musa remains one of Nigeria‘s all-time greats.

Career Highlights

  • Holds the record for most caps for Nigeria with 101 appearances
  • Scored Nigeria’s first World Cup goal in 16 years at Brazil in 2014
  • Joint top scorer for Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations
  • Scored a brace against Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
  • Won multiple league titles in Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey

 

#3 – Kelechi Iheanacho

continues to be a fan favorite due to his humility and grace on and off the pitch. The clinical striker has proven his immense quality during his time with English clubs Manchester City and Leicester City.

Iheanacho has established himself as an integral member of the Nigerian national team as well, scoring vital goals to help the Super Eagles’ cause in recent major tournaments.

Career Highlights

  • Won the Premier League title with Man City in the 2017-18 season
  • Won the FA Cup with Leicester City in 2020-21 season
  • Named Premier League Player of the Month in March 2021
  • Scored in back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations tournaments
  • Scored Nigeria’s equalizer vs Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

 

#4 – Leon Bailey

Though born in Jamaica, Leon Bailey has represented Nigeria at the international level and is therefore regularly searched by Nigerian football fans. The left-footed winger is renowned for his dazzling dribbling skills, speed, and propensity for goals and assists. Bailey has lit up the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen with outstanding performances.

Career Highlights

  • Scored 15 goals and provided 11 assists in 2019-20 Bundesliga season
  • Named in Bundesliga Team of the Season in 2019-20
  • Represented Nigeria at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations
  • Currently plays for Aston Villa in the Premier League
  • Won 2x Jamaican Sportsman of the Year award

 

#5 – Odi Nwankwo

Odi Nwankwo is one of Nigeria’s most prolific strikers of his generation. Though now retired, Nwankwo lit up Nigerian and European football with his goals and combative style during the 1990s and 2000s. He enjoyed immense success in Germany with Borussia Dortmund and VfL Bochum. Nwankwo remains a legendary figure in Nigerian football for his goalscoring exploits.

Career Highlights

  • Scored 72 goals in 205 games for Nigerian club Plateau United
  • Won the 1996 African Footballer of the Year award
  • Won 3 German Cup titles and the UEFA Cup with Dortmund
  • Scored Nigeria’s first goal at the 1994 FIFA World Cup
  • Scored Nigeria’s first goal at the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations tournament
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#6 – William Troost-Ekong

One of Nigeria’s most dependable and consistent center-backs in recent times. William Troost-Ekong is admired for his leadership skills and no-nonsense defensive displays. The Nigerian captain plays his club football in England for Watford and has over 50 caps for the Super Eagles. Troost-Ekong was a vital cog in the Nigerian defense that conceded just one goal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations where they finished third.

Career Highlights

  • Captain of Nigeria and led them to bronze at AFCON 2019
  • Named in the AFCON 2019 Team of the Tournament
  • Played over 100 games for Udinese Calcio in Serie A
  • Won the Turkish Cup with Bursaspor in 2017
  • Currently plays in the English Premier League for Watford

 

#7 – Joe Aribo

One of Nigeria’s rising stars, Joe Aribo continues to light up Scottish football with Rangers. The dynamic central midfielder is renowned for his smart passing, ball-carrying ability, and eye for goal. Aribo has grown in stature since joining Rangers in 2019 and was pivotal to their Scottish Premiership title success in the 2020-21 season.

Career Highlights

  • Won the Scottish Premiership title with Rangers in 2020-21
  • Scored in the Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt in 2022
  • Named in 2021-22 Scottish PFA Teams of the Year
  • Won Rangers FC Player of the Year award in 2021
  • Regularly features for Nigeria since debut in 2019

 

#8 – Emmanuel Emenike

A striker who enjoyed immense success in Turkey, Emmanuel Emenike scored prolifically during lucrative spells with Fenerbahce and Karab√ľkspor. Blessed with a powerful physique, excellent aerial ability, and a thunderous right foot, Emenike was a handful for opposition defenses. He won multiple Turkish titles and cup honors.

Career Highlights

  • Won 3 Turkish Super Lig titles with Fenerbahce
  • Scored 44 goals in 92 games in the Turkish Super Lig
  • Won the 2010 AFCON Bronze with Nigeria
  • Named in 2013 AFCON Team of the Tournament
  • Scored a hat-trick vs Iran at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

 

#9 – Vincent Iyegh

A commanding goalkeeper who enjoyed immense success in France with Lille, Vincent Iyegh was a stalwart between the sticks for Nigeria for over a decade. Blessed with remarkable reflexes, anticipation, and shot-stopping abilities, Iyegh helped Lille win the Ligue 1 title in the 2010-11 season. He was arguably Nigeria’s best goalkeeper.

Career Highlights

  • Won the Ligue 1 title and French Cup with Lille
  • Record caps holder for Nigeria with 101 appearances
  • Won AFCON bronze medals in 2000 and 2004
  • Named in AFCON Teams of the Tournament twice
  • Played at three FIFA World Cup tournaments
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#10 – John Obi Mikel

One of Nigeria’s most decorated footballers, central midfielder John Obi Mikel enjoyed immense success during his 11-year spell with English giants Chelsea. A persistent ball-carrier and metronome in midfield, Mikel helped Chelsea win multiple Premier League and Champions League/Europa League titles. Even after leaving Chelsea, Mikel enjoyed a trophy-laden career in Turkey with Trabzonspor.

Career Highlights

  • Won 2 Premier League titles, 2 Europa Leagues, and 1 Champions League with Chelsea
  • Named in the Champions League Squad of the Season in 2011-12
  • Won Turkish Cup and Super Lig titles with Trabzonspor
  • Over 80 caps for Nigeria including 2 AFCON Bronze medals
  • Played at 2 FIFA World Cup tournaments for Nigeria

 

FAQs

Who is the highest goalscorer for Nigeria?

Rashidi Yekini is Nigeria’s all-time leading goalscorer with 37 goals for the Super Eagles.

Which Nigerian footballer has won the most trophies?

John Obi Mikel has won the most number of trophies in his career. The Chelsea legend won 2 Premier League titles, 2 Europa League titles, 1 Champions League title, and 1 Turkish Super Lig title among others.

Who was the first Nigerian to play in the Premier League?

Finidi George was the first Nigerian player to feature in the Premier League. He made his debut for Ipswich Town in the 1992-93 season.

Which city produces the most professional footballers in Nigeria?

Makurdi in Benue State is regarded as the city that has produced the highest number of professional footballers in Nigeria comparatively.

Who is the youngest Nigerian footballer to play in the World Cup?

Nwaneri Chidera became the youngest-ever Nigerian player to feature at the FIFA World Cup after coming on as a substitute against Iceland at the 2018 World Cup aged 17 years and 257 days.

Who was the first Nigerian footballer to play in the Premier League?

Finidi George was the first Nigerian player to feature in the Premier League. He made his debut for Ipswich Town in the 1992-93 season.

Which city produces the most professional footballers in Nigeria?

Makurdi in Benue State is regarded as the city that has produced the highest number of professional footballers in Nigeria comparatively.

Who is the youngest Nigerian footballer to play in the World Cup?

Nwaneri Chidera became the youngest-ever Nigerian player to feature at the FIFA World Cup after coming on as a substitute against Iceland at the 2018 World Cup aged 17 years and 257 days.

Which Nigerian footballer has scored the most international goals?

Rashidi Yekini is Nigeria’s all-time leading goalscorer with 37 goals for the Super Eagles.

Which state in Nigeria produces the most footballers?

The states of Akwa Ibom and Delta in Nigeria have unearthed numerous professional footballers. Makurdi in Benue State also produces a huge number of footballers.

Which female footballer is the most successful from Nigeria?

Asisat Oshoala is considered the most successful Nigerian female footballer. She won the African Women’s Player of the Year award five times.

Which retired Nigerian striker is regarded as the best of his generation?

Rashidi Yekini is widely considered perhaps the best Nigerian striker of his generation during the 1980s and ’90s due to his prolific goalscoring exploits for club and country.

 

Conclusion

Nigerian football has unearthed many world-class talents over the years who have dazzled at both club and international levels with their skills, achievements, and trophies. The above list of Top-10-Most-Searched-Footballers-In-Nigeria-2023 are icons who continue to inspire generations of footballers in the West African nation with their excellence on the pitch. Nigeria is surely blessed with a deep reservoir of footballing talent and more superstars are certain to emerge on the global stage from the football-loving country in years to come.

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