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.

SEE ALSO |  Best All-Time Super Eagles of Nigeria XI

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Eric Ejiofor

Nigeria 2002 World Cup Squad

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nwankwo Kanu

Nigeria squad 2002 World Cup

The former Iwuayanwu Nationale didn’t get quality play time 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.

SEE ALSO |  Super Eagles All-Time Top Goalscorers: Listed From 1971

Nigeria squad in the 2002 World Cup

POSITIONJERSEY NO.NAMECLUBDOB
GOALKEEPER
12Austin EjideGabros International FC1984-04-08
22Vincent EnyeamaEnyimba Aba1982-08-29
1Ike ShorunmuFC Luzern1967-10-16
DEFENDER
13Rabiu AfolabiStandard Liège1980-04-18
3Celestine BabayaroChelsea FC1978-08-29
19Eric EjioforMaccabi Haifa1979-12-17
5Isaac OkoronkwoShakhtar Donetsk1978-05-01
16Efe SodjeCrewe Alexandra1972-10-05
14Ifeanyi UdezePAOK Saloniki1980-07-21
6Taribo West1. FC Kaiserslautern1974-03-26
MIDFIELDER
8Mutiu AdepojuUD Salamanca1970-12-22
15Justice ChristopherRoyal Antwerp FC1981-12-24
11Garba LawalRoda JC Kerkrade1974-05-22
20James ObiorahLokomotiv Moskva1978-08-24
10Jay Jay OkochaParis Saint-Germain1973-08-14
2Joseph YoboOlympique Marseille1980-09-06
FORWARD
17Julius AghahowaShakhtar Donetsk1982-02-12
18Benedict AkwuegbuShenyang Haishi1974-11-03
7Pius IkediaAFC Ajax1980-07-11
4Nwankwo KanuArsenal FC1976-08-01
9Bartholomew OgbecheParis Saint-Germain1984-10-01
23Femi OpabunmiShooting Stars FC1985-03-03
21John UtakaAl Sadd1982-01-08
MANAGER
Adegboye Onigbinde1938-03-05

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Greg Afamah

Written by Greg Afamah

Greg is a Sports content writer. He has many years of experience in Sports Writing. He was a writer for Opera News and is Editor-in-Chief at GoalBall.

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