Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad – The Entire Team List

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

Two different indigenous coaches – Amodu Shuaibu and Stephen Keshi – qualified Nigeria for the Japan/Korea 2002  World Cup. But who were the footballer who featured in the Nigeria 2002 World Cup squad?

I’ll touch on that shortly.

Amodu and Keshi were brought in for a rescue mission after the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, sacked Bonfrere Jo.

But after the 2002 Nations Cup in Mali where the Super Eagles lost to Senegal in the semifinal, the pair were sacked few months to the World Cup and Adegboye Onigbinde was called upon.

The politics that engulfed the team was so much that some players like Sunday Oliseh and Finidi George were dropped from the Nigeria 2002 World Cup squad.

To cut my long story short, that particular Super Eagles team failed woefully, losing two matches and drawing one against England who didn’t need to win to move on the to the next stage.

You know the saddest part, they scored just ONE goal in that competition!

Yes, that’s how bad it was.

The Nigeria 2002 World Cup squad in Japan/Korea were – and still are – incomparable to the squad at USA ’94 and France ’98 squad.

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Nigeria 2002 World Cup squad

Austin Ejide

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

 Ejide was one of the local Nigerian goalkeepers drafted into the Nigeria squad 2002 World Cup and didn’t make any appearance owing to the pecking order in that department.

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Vincent Enyeama

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

The fantastic save he made, parrying a long-range effort from Paul Scholes, earned him plaudits from admirers.

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Ike Shorunmu

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

Having missed out at the last World Cup in France, the 34-year-old reclaimed his spot as number one.

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Rabiu Afolabi

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

Another player who never kicked the ball at the World Cup as the defender was on the sidelines in all three matches.

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Celestine Babayaro

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

At 23, this was his second appearance at the World Cup. Babayaro established himself as the best left-back in the continent following a rising profile with his English club, Chelsea.

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Eric Ejiofor

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

The Enyimba player did not kick a single ball for the Super Eagles at the competition.

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Isaac Okoronkwo

The central defensive pairing of Isaac Okoronkwo with Taribo West was a complete disaster as the duo could not complement each other leaving the backline porous to attackers.

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Efe Sodje

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

Made an appearance with the Super Eagles for the first time at the World Cup in 2002. Sodje was on duty against Argentina in the first match and England in the third.

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Ifeanyi Udeze

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

He was always playing as second preferred left-back to Celestine Babayaro.  Udeze featured against Sweden and England.

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Taribo West

2002 World Cup
A dejected Taribo West of Nigeria after the FIFA World Cup Finals 2002 Group F match between Sweden and Nigeria played on June 7. Sweden won the match 2-1.
(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

This was the last competition Taribo West featured for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Mutiu Adepoju

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

The former Real Sociedad midfielder was one of the senior players who escaped being axed from the Nigeria 2002 World Cup squad owing to a gang-up by his teammates at the Nations Cup same year.

Justice Christopher

Nigeria world Cup Squad

A new entrant in the Nigeria World Cup squad. Christopher was invited to fit into Sunday Oliseh’s role. The six-foot-plus Royal Antwerp defensive midfielder was involved in the matches against Sweden and England.

Garba Lawal

Lawal was the number one player at the receiving end for Super Eagles’ poor showing against the Argentines. He was condemned to the bench for the rest of the competition.

James Obiorah

The former U-17 captain played two friendlies before the World Cup and was in action against Sven Goran Erikson’s English tutored side.

Austin Okocha

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

The expulsion of Sunday Oliseh made way for the Paris Saint Germain playmaker to wears the captain’s arm band to lead the Nigeria squad at the 2002 World Cup.

Joseph Yobo

The 21-years-old featured as a right-back and provided the assist that gave Nigeria’s only goal scored at the 2002 World Cup.

Julius Aghahowa

2002 World Cup

Scored a header – the only goal – against Sweden and celebrated his goal with his summersault flips trademark. Still, Nigeria lost 1-2 at full time.

Benedict Akwegbu

Nigeria’s forward Benedict Akwuegbu heads the ball during match 38 group F of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea Japan 12 June.
(Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Even though he was on the pitch all 90 minutes against the Three Lions of England,  Akwegbu failed to score for the Super Eagles.

Pius Ikedia

The petite and exciting winger was used as a substitute in all three matches played in the group but failed to make a meaningful impact.

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Nwankwo Kanu

Nigeria squad 2002 World Cup

The former Iwuayanwu Nationale didn’t get quality playtime at the previous tournament but in France, he played 48 minutes in the 0-1 defeat to Argentina and came in as a second-half substitute against Sweden.

Bartholomew Ogbeche

 2002 World Cup

His spectacular bicycle kick against Paraguay in a pre-World Cup friendly is unforgettable! Probably what earned Ogbeche a place in the Nigeria 2002 World Cup squad as he played two games at the tournament.

Femi Opabunmi

Nigeria squad

So young, just 17-year-old and pacy. He got a golden opportunity to shine brightly at the World Cup but it was only in one match against England.

John Utaka

Nigeria squad 2002 World Cup

The former Portsmouth forward’s impact was not felt in the match against Sweden.

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Nigeria squad in the 2002 World Cup

POSITION

JERSEY NO.

NAME

CLUB

DOB

GOALKEEPER

12

Austin Ejide

Gabros International FC

4/8/1984

22

Vincent Enyeama

Enyimba Aba

8/29/1982

1

Ike Shorunmu

FC Luzern

10/16/1967

DEFENDER

13

Rabiu Afolabi

Standard Liège

4/18/1980

3

Celestine Babayaro

Chelsea FC

8/29/1978

19

Eric Ejiofor

Maccabi Haifa

12/17/1979

5

Isaac Okoronkwo

Shakhtar Donetsk

5/1/1978

16

Efe Sodje

Crewe Alexandra

10/5/1972

14

Ifeanyi Udeze

PAOK Saloniki

7/21/1980

6

Taribo West

1. FC Kaiserslautern

3/26/1974

MIDFIELDER

8

Mutiu Adepoju

UD Salamanca

12/22/1970

15

Justice Christopher

Royal Antwerp FC

12/24/1981

11

Garba Lawal

Roda JC Kerkrade

5/22/1974

20

James Obiorah

Lokomotiv Moskva

8/24/1978

10

Jay Jay Okocha

Paris Saint-Germain

8/14/1973

2

Joseph Yobo

Olympique Marseille

9/6/1980

FORWARD

17

Julius Aghahowa

Shakhtar Donetsk

2/12/1982

18

Benedict Akwuegbu

Shenyang Haishi

11/3/1974

Finidi George

Ipswich Town

4/15/1971

7

Pius Ikedia

AFC Ajax

7/11/1980

4

Nwankwo Kanu

Arsenal FC

8/1/1976

9

Bartholomew Ogbeche

Paris Saint-Germain

10/1/1984

23

Femi Opabunmi

Shooting Stars FC

3/3/1985

21

John Utaka

Al Sadd

1/8/1982

MANAGER

Adegboye Onigbinde

3/5/1938

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This article was most recently revised and updated 5 days ago

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