Top 10 Best Super Eagles Players Of All Time

Having consistently ranked among Africa’s top footballing nations, Nigeria has produced exceptional players who have slipped into the green and white jersey.

This guide provides a list of the greatest Nigerian football players who have represented the national team, the Super Eagles. Plus, you will be learning about their achievements and contributions to Nigerian football history.

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Who Are The Top 10 Nigerian Footballers Of All Time?

1. Mikel John Obi

Mikel John Obi

Mikel’s international career began with the Nigeria under-20 team in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, winning the Silver Ball for being the tournament’s second-best player behind Lionel Messi. Then he made his senior team debut in 2005 and became a key player.

However, Mikel faced suspension from the national team in 2007 due to disagreements and missed opportunities, but he bounced back, playing a significant role in Nigeria’s success at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, where they won their third continental title.

He recorded appearances in the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and 2018. Mikel also made history at the 2016 Olympics, leading Nigeria to a bronze medal victory to add to his list of achievements.

Throughout his career, Mikel proved himself as a versatile and skilled midfielder, contributing goals and assists in crucial matches.

Despite announcing his retirement from international football after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, his legacy as one of Nigeria’s top footballers remains undeniable.

2. Nwankwo Kanu

Nwankwo Kanu

Nwankwo Kanu is widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s greatest footballers of all time. He represented Nigeria’s national team from 1994 to 2011.

Kanu’s career to football stardom began when he played a significant role in Nigeria’s victory at the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Japan.

This success laid the foundation for his illustrious career. One of the highlights of Kanu’s career was winning the Olympic gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

His memorable performance included scoring the winning goal in the semi-final against Brazil. Also, he participated in the FIFA World Cups in 1998 and 2002.

Kanu earned 86 caps and scored 13 goals for his country. Despite primarily being a striker, he wore the number 4 shirt for the national team.

In 2010, Kanu decided to retire from international football after Nigeria was eliminated from the World Cup in South Africa.

In 2022, he was honored as the best Nigerian football player of all time by, a prominent Nigerian football site.

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3. Vincent Enyeama

Vincent Enyeama

Vincent Enyeama is one of the top 10 Nigerian footballers of all time. He made his debut for the Nigeria national football team in May 2002 against Kenya.

And, he was a big part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup squad as a backup goalkeeper. After the retirement of Ike Shorunmu, he became the main goalkeeper for the team.

He played an important role in Nigeria’s success in the Africa Cup of Nations, helping them to third-place finishes in 2004, 2006, and 2010, and captaining them to victory in 2013.

Enyeama also participated in the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. In the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations, he saved three penalties in a shootout against Tunisia.

He repeated this heroics in the 2010 tournament, saving crucial penalties and even scoring one himself against Zambia.

Enyeama’s standout performance came in the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Argentina, where he made several impressive saves, earning praise from Diego Maradona for his efforts in denying Lionel Messi.

Despite a loss to Greece, Enyeama was named man of the match for his outstanding performance. Enyeama’s leadership was prominent in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, leading Nigeria to victory as captain, conceding only four goals throughout the tournament.

He continued his international career, reaching a milestone of 100 caps for Nigeria in 2015 before retiring from international football later that year.

4. Jay-Jay Okocha

Jay-Jay Okocha

When talking about the top Nigerian footballers ever, you can’t miss mentioning Jay-Jay Okocha. He’s a legend, no doubt.

Okocha burst onto the scene back in the ’90s. His debut for Nigeria was in a World Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast in ’93.

But it was his second game, against Algeria, where he stole the spotlight. Nigeria was down, but Okocha scored a crucial goal to level the match to help Nigeria qualify for their first-ever World Cup.

Then came ’94, a big year for Nigeria. Okocha was part of the team that won the African Cup of Nations and made it to the second round of the World Cup.

’96 was even better. He was instrumental in Nigeria’s Olympic gold win, known as the “Dream Team.” They beat Brazil and staged a comeback against Argentina in the final.

The ’98 World Cup wasn’t as great for Nigeria, but Okocha still impressed which earned him a spot in the tournament’s squad.

In 2000, at the African Cup of Nations, Okocha was on fire again. He scored crucial goals, including two in the opening game against Tunisia.

Although Nigeria lost in the final to Cameroon, Okocha’s performance was exceptional. He continued leading Nigeria in the following tournaments, finishing third in 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Even after retiring, Okocha’s impact on Nigerian football remained. He played in testimonial matches and was honored as one of the top 125 living footballers by Pelé in 2004.

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5. Rashidi Yekini

Rashidi Yekini

The Top 10 Nigerian Footballers of All Time list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Rashidi Yekini. He’s the all-time Super Eagles scorer, scoring 37 goals in 62 games for Nigeria.

One of his best moments was in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He scored Nigeria’s first-ever goal in the World Cup against Bulgaria.

People still talk about his celebration, where he cried while holding the goal’s net. It became one of the iconic moments of the tournament.

Yekini also helped Nigeria win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia. Not only did he top the goal charts, but he was also named the best player of the competition. He represented Nigeria in the 1988 Seoul Olympics too.

6. Joseph Yobo

Joseph Yobo

Joseph Yobo is one of the best Super Eagles players ever. He’s got quite impressive stats, having played 101 times for Nigeria’s national team.

Yobo represented his country in three FIFA World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. He started in 1999 when he made waves in the FIFA World Youth Championship.

But it was in 2001 that he officially footed onto the senior international stage against Zambia in a World Cup qualifier.

From there, he became a mainstay in the team, playing in all six matches of the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations and then making his mark in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Yobo’s leadership qualities became apparent when he captained the team in the 2010 World Cup after Nwankwo Kanu’s retirement.

Even though he wasn’t always a starter in later tournaments, he lifted the Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2013.

In 2014, Yobo reached a milestone with his 100th international appearance during the FIFA World Cup, where he led the team against France. Despite an own goal in the match, Yobo bowed out gracefully from international football.

7. Taribo West

Taribo West

Taribo West made an Impression with his impressive skills on the field, having begun with the Flying Eagles at the 1993 African Youth Championship.

He later earned 42 caps for Nigeria. His debut match was against Sweden in 1994, and he was part of the Olympic squad that won gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics, playing every minute of the tournament.

In 1998, West joined the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu in Nigeria’s squad for the FIFA World Cup, reaching the second stage before being eliminated by Denmark.

He continued to represent Nigeria in major tournaments, playing an important role in the 2000 African Cup of Nations where Nigeria finished as runners-up to Cameroon.

West also featured in the 2002 edition, helping Nigeria secure third place. Despite his successes, West faced criticism after Nigeria’s disappointing performance in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, with the coach blaming him for not following instructions.

A setback came in 2004 when an injury ruled him out of the African Cup of Nations. However, he made a comeback in 2005, marking his final appearance for the Super Eagles in a friendly against Libya.

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8. Finidi George

Finidi George

Finidi George’s impact on Nigerian football is undeniable. From his early days representing the national team to his memorable performances in major tournaments, he has left a lasting legacy as one of the top Nigerian footballers of all time.

He started his international career with the Nigerian national team in 1991 during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match against Burkina Faso, providing three assists and scoring a goal in a 7–1 victory.

George’s helped Nigeria secure the championship in the 1994 edition of the tournament held in Tunisia. He also played in two FIFA World Cups, in 1994 and 1998.

He continued to represent Nigeria in the 1998 World Cup in France, despite having expressed his intention to retire from international football before the competition.

9. Peter Rufai

Peter Rufai

Peter Rufai deserves a spot on this list. Rufai played as a goalkeeper and earned 65 caps for Nigeria. He was their main goalkeeper in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups. Rufai was instrumental in Nigeria winning the 1994 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia.

But what makes Rufai even more special is that on 24 July 1993, during a CAN qualifying match against Ethiopia, he scored a penalty in a 6–0 home win. It’s not every day you see a goalkeeper scoring a goal. This goal is recorded as one of his international goals.

10. Daniel Amokachi

Daniel Amokachi

Daniel Amokachi recorded 44 appearances for the Super Eagles, scoring 13 goals. He was also Included in the teams for the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups.

Nigeria won the African Nations Cup in 1994 with him on the team. In 1996, he helped Nigeria win the Olympic championship, scoring a goal in the final against Argentina.

Amokachi had a tough time with injuries, especially before the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He only played in one match during the tournament because of a knee injury. After that, he struggled with knee problems.