Who is the greatest and best Super Eagles defensive midfielders ever?
One of the best Super Eagles defensive midfielders in recent times is Wilfred Ndidi and he isn’t only instrumental in the current Nigeria squad but also for his club side, Leicester City F.C.
Aside from Ndidi, there are other defensive midfielders who have done very well and worthy of mention.
Let me take you through my list of top five best Super Eagles defensive midfielders ever.
Best Super Eagles Defensive Midfielders Ever
Godwin Achebe was one of those players that paved the way for the golden era of Nigerian football.
Both a master and technical gifted defensive midfielder, Achebe could read an opponent’s next move and simply mount a mouth-opening interception.
He did this so many times it became a common occurrence in every match.
His height was probably one of his advantages as he could hold and shield the ball for a forward running teammate without being dispossessed,
For a long time, Achebe was the captain of the green eagles (as the Nigeria national team was called then) and led them to the Gold medal in the second all African Games held in Lagos.
He played for Enugu rangers at the club level and became the team coach, leading the club to win the African cup winners cup.
Nobody would have thought much about an automobile mechanic in the streets of Ibadan would become a midfield general, but Lawal did prove it and broke a couple of records along the way also.
Born in 1954, and only 21 years when he made his international debut, Laval expressed the calmness of a veteran in the field.
He could literally chase opponents, steal the ball from them, and plants himself as an impregnable wall again against attacks.
Lawal was known for his pinpoint passes to aid attacks at the time when defensive midfielders felt their roles were to shoot the ball in any direction as long as they are protecting the back four.
His accurate passes and competitive spirit saw him lead shooting stars to Africa Cups winners’ cup, making them the first team in Nigeria to do so.
Internationally he was part of the eagle’s team that won the 1980 Africa nations cup.
Lawal died in his home on the 6th of July 1991 and was only 37 years.
Sunday Oliseh was the eagle’s talismanic midfielder during the 1990s and a major figure in the team’s very first world cup debut.
While he had a bit of temper during his playing days, he was a brilliant and calculative defensive midfielder who had a reputation of stopping opponent’s attackers dead in their track.
He, however, is not the fastest player in Nigeria and sometimes found it difficult to recover stray balls.
Oliseh won among the Super Eagles team that won the Africa Nations Cup in 1994.
Also in this list is the ever performing Ndidi and probably the most popular, thanks to media and technology.
While he is still active and just 24 years, Ndidi is quickly stamping his name as one of the best defensive midfielders ever to wear the eagle’s shirt, and it will not be surprising if he makes it to the top at the end of his career.
For several years now, the Leicester city midfielder continues to shatter every premier league defensive that has been set with ease.
He also expresses this ability with the Super Eagles of Nigeria as he has proven to be a wall the defense can rely on.
Sani was more like Lawal but just didn’t have the pinpoint passing though he was very good in other areas.
He could track the ball, bear down on opponents and protect the main defenders as much as he could.
He is very energetic and could maintain peak performance for the most part of a match.
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