Top 10 Nigerian Footballers Playing For Other Countries

If you know how many Nigerian footballers are playing for other countries you would see that the Super Eagles could have probably lifted the FIFA World Cup already!

Think I'm exaggerating? Wait till you see the list of Nigerian footballers playing for other countries that I'm about reeling out.

Beyond the World Cup, even the Africa Cup of Nations would have been a permanent trophy in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Glass House.

Names of Nigerian Footballers Playing For Other Countries

Emmanuel Sarki (Haiti)

Sarki is one player that was so close to joining the Super Eagles but backed out at the last stage.

Nigerian Footballers Playing For Other Countries

He was extremely active with the Nigerian youth system as he played with the Nigeria national under-17 football team at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland and the Nigeria national under-20 football team at African U-20 Championship, where he scored two goals for the eventual runners up.

Sarki eventually chose to represent his mother country Haiti as his football country and stated that his decision was taken because the Nigerian Football Association had asked him to pay money to be included in the squad.

Angelo Ogbonna (Italy)

Ogbonna was one of the talents that the Super Eagles had believed would join its ranks and increase its defensive prowess, but the full-born Nigerian decided to play for Italy, where his immigrants' parents had given birth to him.

Angelo Ogbonna Italy

However, he has only featured for Italy for all the troubles and may likely not be so fond of his decision anymore.

Manuel Akanji (Switzerland)

Manuel Akanji is a Swiss professional footballer and a highly rated defender in Borussia Dortmund.

The 26-year-old tactician is known for his immaculate ability to read games, and this has helped him establish dominance in both his club and country football team.

Manuel Akanji Switzerland

While he is widely known for his Swiss career, only a few know that Akanji is a Nigerian.

The Dortmund defender was born to Nigerian father Abimbola Akanji and Swiss mother, Isabel Akanji.

He identifies as a Nigerian.

Ikechi Anya (Scotland)

Ikechi is one of the few players who does not play for any of his parents' countries despite being from different nationalities.

Ikechi Anya Scotland

The Scott international was born to a Nigerian father and Romanian mother but chose to play for his birth country.

Ikechi played his best professional with Watford.

He is currently affiliated with Derby County, where he gets reasonable game time.

Fikayo Tomori (England)

FikayoTomori has not been featuring a lot for the blues but his super goal and impressive debut season in 2019 are still fondly remembered by Chelsea faithfuls. 

Fikayo Tomori England

Tomori came into the limelight in 2019 after being given the nod by Chelsea coach Frank Lampard and was greatly impressed.

He soon shortly choose England as his National team to the ire and frustration of Nigerian fans.

Tomori still has a lot of game time ahead of time, and hopefully, he will impress with time.

David Olatukunbo Alaba (Austria)

David Alaba is one of the most popular footballers on this list, and for obvious reasons.

Nigerian Footballers Playing For Other Countries

The Austrian international is considered one of the best defenders of this generation. He is a UCL winner and an established defender in the game.

He currently signed a deal with Real Madrid after lifting the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

For all his achievements, Nigerians would be hurting to know that the Austrian defender is Nigerian, with his father being a Yoruba Prince and a disc jockey.

Alaba has been pictured a couple of times with the Nigerian Flag and has openly declared his admiration for the country.

Ross Barkley (England)

Since enjoying a successful breakthrough in his early Premier League days with Everton, Ross Barkley has had his ups and downs.

Nigerian Footballers Playing For Other Countries

He was once considered a potential world star, but a series of injury problems and drop in form over the years saw expectations lowered.

He currently plays with Chelsea and the Three Lions, and there are a lot of good signs that points he would reach his peak again.

Apart from his football career, one thing very few people know is that Barkley is actually a Nigerian by Birth.

He was born to a Nigerian father and English mother but chose to answer his mother's Maiden name and play for the Three Lions due to his anger toward his Dad for divorcing his mom when he was a baby.

Dele Alli (England)

Dele Alli Is one footballer who has not been able to separate himself from controversy even though he is undoubtedly one of the best in the game.

The 25-year-old still clearly has a lot of years ahead of him, but a fallout with coaches, family, and the infamous sex tape has not done a lot to propel his career as many would have wanted.

Nigerian Footballers Playing For Other Countries

The Englishman still plays for Tottenham, but he is more of a backup striker to the more prolific Harry Kane.

While a lot of people associate Dele Alli, he could easily believe that he has no roots in Nigeria as there is nothing much in his career name to give away.

However, a closer look will reveal that not only is England International a Nigerian, he also spent a couple of years for his basic education in Nigeria.

However, Dele relocated to England after his Basic education, settled in, and chose to represent the Three Lions when he had to pledge allegiance.

Tammy Abraham (England)

From the name Oghenetga and Tamaraebi, it is easy to distinguish that the Chelsea striker is from the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.

Nigerian Footballers Playing For Other Countries

However, it is not news that the 6 feet 2 inches' superstar pledge his allegiance to England.

While the decision hurt a lot of Nigerians, it was pretty understandable as the 22-year-old had lived all his life in England with all of his friends and family also residing in the country.

Tammy's decision to play for the three lions was not an easy one, and he did try to stall his decisions for as long as he could.

Experts believed that he decided to play for England after being advised by Chelsea coach Frank Lampard.

Bukayo Ayoyinka Saka (England)

Bakayo Saka is not an unpopular name as he is pretty much one of the most talented players on this list.

Nigerian Footballers Playing For Other Countries

The Arsenal attacking winger has impressed the Gunners fan with his drizzling skill and upbeat mentality since coming into the limelight in 2019.

Saka was one of the brightest lights in a dull and unimpressive 20202/2021 season for the English side and would have crowned it up with an impressive Euro 2020 win if the England national team he represents had not been unlucky in their penalty shootouts against Italy.

Representing England, many Nigerians wouldn't know that Saka is actually a Nigerian with both parents of Yoruba Ancestry. 

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He ended up playing for England due to him being born there and choosing to play for them instead of the super Eagles.

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago