As the European Championship continues, it is important to point out the African stars of Nigerian descent in Football who made it to the limelight and continue to represent Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Here’s a list of 15 football players of Nigerian descent who are making waves in Europe:
The Afro-German was born to a British-Nigerian father and a German mother.
He has represented England and at the U-17 level but has chosen to now represent Germany.
The 19-year-old was born in London and was at the Chelsea Academy until 2019 when he switched to Bayern.
Jamal is said to have had a conversation with Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr in 2020 but having chosen the Mannschaft, he could become one of the breakout stars at Euro 2020.
The player is said to have chosen not to support Nigeria and instead pick Germany.
David Olatokunbo Alaba
The 28 year-old defender/midfielder is a multi-winner in the Bundesliga and in the champions league. His father is Yoruba from Nigeria and his mother is from the Philippines.
The David Olutokunbo has played 81 times for Austria since making his debut in 2009 and in the process became the youngest ever player to debut for the national team.
Manul Obafemi Akanji
Akanji was born to a Nigerian Father and a Swiss mother.
The star player has never played for Nigeria’s super eagles simply because the team has never asked him to.
Karim Onisiwo has a Nigerian Father and an Austria mother. The forward plays in the Bundesliga with Mainz and for the Austria national football team
He made his debut for the Austria team in a friendly match against Switzerland in November 2015 and to date, has 11 caps and one goal.
Dominic Solanke is the product of a Nigerian Father and an English Mother. The 23 year-old plays for Bournemouth.
He scored 15 goals and registered a further eight assists securing him a place in the playoffs.
A highly rated talent as a youngster with Chelsea and Liverpool, he won the Golden Boot at the U-20 World Cup in 2017, but has largely failed to build on that promise in the intervening years.
Ovie is Nigerian and English. The footballer grew up in London and hence grew up supporting Arsenal who h played for for nine years.
No player still in the division at the season’s end averaged more than Ejaria’s 2.7 dribbles per game, while he also had a hand in eight goals throughout the campaign.
Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen was born in Olusosun Lagos, Nigeria on the 29th of December in 1998. He is the last of his parents 6 children.
Osimhen began his senior career in Germany at VfL Wolfsburg in 2017. Following a season and a half at the club, he moved to Belgian side Charleroi on loan in 2018–19, before moving to France at Lille.
In 2020 Osimhen transferred to Serie A club Napoli for a club-record fee of €70 million. We wrote about this move here: Victor Osimhen, Africa’s most expensive player – biography, family, football career, siblings, relationship.
The AFC Bournemouth player is a Nigerian born Dutch professional. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria to a Dutch Father and a Nigerian Mother.
Terem Moffi is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for FC Lorient and the Nigeria national team.
Moffi left Nigeria to join Buckswood Football Academy at the age of 17, and thereafter moved to Lithuania with Kauno Žalgiris.
He thereafter joined Riteriai, but had visa issues that delayed his debut. He eventually scored 20 goals in 29 leagues games, and transferred to Kortrijk in January 2020.
On 1 October 2020, he signed with FC Lorient in the French Ligue 1.
Felix Uduokhai was born to a Nigerian Father and a German mother, he is a Germany youth International.
Uduokhai plays as a defender for FC Ausberg
Uduokhai has played several matches with the German U19, U20, and U21 national teams. Playing for Nigeria is still an option for Uduokhai, if he doesn’t get an any opportunities with Germany.
Bukayo Ayoyinka Saka
The star is born to two Nigerian parents. His parents emigrated to London from Nigerian as economic migrants.
He plays as a winger, left-back or central midfielder for premier league club Arsenal and the England national team.
In an interview, Saka stated the importance of his father in his footballing career, “He’s a massive inspiration for me. From when I was young, he always kept me grounded, kept me humble.
His name “Bukayo” originates from the Yoruba tribe located in southern Nigeria, meaning “adds to happiness.
Kelechi is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Leicester City and the Nigeria national team.
He was born in Owerri, Imo state and travelled to the UK to play football after being signed by Manchester City.
Micheal Olise is a French professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for EFL Championships club Reading.
Even though he was born in England, he represents France internationally.
Olise was born in England to a Nigerian father, and French-Algerian mother and is eligible to represent France, Algeria, England, and Nigeria internationally.
Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo (born 7 May 1992), known simply as Simy, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie B club Crotone.
Simy is the eldest of three children. His brother, a physiotherapist, and sister, a nurse, they are twins. Simy and his wife are Catholic and have a son.
He has been the subject of racial abuse on social media during his time in Crotone, including wishes that his son ‘would die of pancreatic cancer’.
Taking a stand against racism, Crotone’s mayor, Vincenzo Voce, gave honorary citizenship of the city to Nwankwo’s son on 27 March 2021.
Onyinye Wilfred Ndidi is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Leicester City and the Nigeria national team.
Ndidi is known for his defensive prowess and long range strikes