Meet the Famous 5: Most Celebrated Soccer Heroes in Nigeria

Only the Best of the Best: Who Has Made History?

We are ending off the month with an exciting look back at Nigerian soccer history! Punters certainly have their own favourite players and teams that they root for. But who are the very best of the best? Here are our handpicked favourite soccer heroes in Nigeria:

Nwankwo Kanu: “Papilo”

Kanu is undisputedly the most successful of all Nigerian soccer players and considered by many to be one of the best in African history. No longer competing professionally, the 44-year-old has quite the impressive list of achievements. Originally a forward on the Nigeria National Team, the Super Eagles, Kanu also played for the Nigerian team Iwuanyanwu Nationale. Internationally, he has played with the Dutch club Ajax, the Italian side Inter Milan, and the English teams Arsenal, West Bromwich and Portsmouth.

Kanu has won too many awards throughout his 20-year career to list them all. These include three FA Cup medals, two African Player of the Year awards, a UEFA Champions League medal, a UEFA Cup medal and an Olympic Gold Medal.

After a close call with a congenital heart defect in 1996 that threatened his entire career, Kanu was inspired to open the Kanu Heart Foundation. The foundation has built five hospitals in Africa to help treat children with undiagnosed heart disease and combat homelessness.

Daniel Amokachi: “Black Bull”

Nicknamed “Black Bull” and “Black Train” for his strength and speed, Amokachi has played in Nigeria, Belgium, England, Turkey and America. He is a former assistant manager and current technical director of the Nigeria National Football Team and Nigeria Football Ambassador.

His awards include helping his team win an Olympic gold medal in 1996, the Pro League “Most Successful Foreign Player Award” in 1992 and being named the 18th best 20th century player in Africa by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics.

Amokachi is now 47 years old and has twin sons who are already following in his footsteps by joining the Besiktas Youth Academy. Will they grow up to join the growing list of soccer heroes in Nigeria…?

Finidi George: “Finito”

This 49-year-old retired right winger played on the Nigeria National Team during two World Cups in the 90’s. “Finito”, nicknamed for his speed, has won three Dutch Eredivisie titles, two Dutch Super Cups, an Intercontinental Cup, a Europa Pokal and a UEFA Super Cup.

More of The Most Prestigious Soccer Heroes in Nigeria!

John Mikel Obi

Mikel is a 33-year-old midfielder for Stoke City, who compete in the English Premier League, as of this month. In his international career that spanned 14 years, he played for Nigeria 88 times, scoring a total of six goals. He began his professional career at the age of 17, ultimately playing with Chelsea for 11 years. Finally, Mikel was also a part of the Super Eagles as a skipper. During that time he helped to win the African Cup of Nations in 2013.

Sunday Oliseh

Oliseh was also once a Super Eagles skipper and coach. His soccer career took him to Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. He won two Dutch Cups. Oliseh is the only Nigerian to win the German Bundesliga title, with Borussia Dortmund. He is now 45 years old and has managed and directed teams in Belgium, Nigeria and the Netherlands.

Were you surprised by any of the above choices for Nigeria’s famous five? Who do you think deserves an honourable mention? Let us know on social media! Remember to keep checking the favourite soccer betting website in Nigeria for ongoing updates. You can find info on upcoming matches, results, fixtures and more all about a wide variety of sports.

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