Osimhen now has joint-highest hat-tricks for the Super Eagles

Osimhen now has joint-highest hat-tricks for the Super Eagles
Credit: Icon Sport

Victor Osimhen, the young and dynamic forward for Nigeria's Super Eagles, has been making headlines not only for his exceptional talent but also for his record-breaking feats on the international stage.

In the recent AFCON Qualifier against Sao Tome and Principe, Osimhen showcased his scoring prowess by netting a remarkable hat-trick, contributing significantly to Nigeria's resounding 6-0 victory.

This performance not only solidified his status as one of Nigeria's brightest talents but also saw him achieve a remarkable milestone: tying the legendary Rashidi Yekini for the joint-highest number of hat-tricks for the Super Eagles.

Osimhen's record-equaling Hat-tricks

With his scintillating hat-trick against Sao Tome and Principe, Victor Osimhen has now notched up two hat-tricks for Nigeria, a feat previously accomplished by the iconic Rashidi Yekini.

Osimhen's first international hat-trick came in 2022 during an Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against the same opponents, Sao Tome & Principe.

In a dominating display, the Napoli striker found the back of the net four times, contributing significantly to Nigeria's 10-0 away triumph.

Rashidi Yekini: A legend's legacy

While Osimhen's achievement is undeniably impressive, he still has a long way to go to surpass the legendary Rashidi Yekini's record as Nigeria's top scorer.

Yekini, who is fondly remembered as one of Africa's greatest strikers, scored an astounding 37 goals for the Super Eagles during his illustrious career.

Yekini's first-ever hat-trick for Nigeria came in 1991 when Nigeria faced Burkina Faso, a match that ended in a resounding 7-1 victory, with Yekini contributing four goals.

His second international hat-trick was against Ethiopia in 1993, a game Nigeria won convincingly 6-0.

A bright future for Osimhen and Nigerian football

As Victor Osimhen continues to make strides in his career, his journey as a footballer is filled with promise and potential.

Tying a record set by the great Rashidi Yekini is no small feat and is a testament to Osimhen's exceptional talent and work ethic.

With his youth and determination, Osimhen has the opportunity to etch his name even deeper into the annals of Nigerian football history.

As the Super Eagles look ahead to future challenges and tournaments, they can count on Osimhen as a potent force in their quest for glory on the international stage.

List of players who have scored a hat-trick for the Super Eagles

Rashidi Yekini:

Rashidi Yekini, the all-time leading goal scorer for the Super Eagles with an impressive tally of 37 goals, showcased his goal-scoring prowess early in his international career.

His first-ever hat-trick for Nigeria came in 1991 when Nigeria faced Burkina Faso, resulting in a resounding 7-1 victory, with Yekini contributing an astonishing four goals to the triumph.

The Nigerian legend continued his prolific form by netting his second international hat-trick against Ethiopia in 1993, helping Nigeria secure a commanding 6-0 win.

Yekini's remarkable goal-scoring feats remain an enduring part of Nigerian football history.

Victor Osimhen:

Victor Osimhen of Nigeria celebrates with goalscorer Samuel Chukwueze
Credit: Icon Sport

Victor's remarkable achievement of scoring his second hat-trick for the Super Eagles has now put him on par with Rashidi Yekini as the player with the most hat-tricks in the history of the Nigerian national team.

This outstanding feat solidifies Osimhen's status as a potent goal-scoring force and highlights his remarkable contribution to the Super Eagles' legacy.

Buraimoh Abudu:

Buraimoh Abudu made history as the first national team player to achieve a hat-trick while on international duty, accomplishing this feat during a remarkable 10-1 victory against Dahomey (now Benin Republic) on November 8, 1959, in a Nkrumah Cup match played in Lagos.

Paul Hamilton:

On February 27, 1963, Paul Hamilton, nicknamed ‘Wonder Boy,' achieved a hat-trick, becoming the second Nigerian player to score three goals in a game as Nigeria defeated Senegal 4-0 during the Nkrumah Cup's third-place match.

Christopher Chukwukadibia:

In just his second appearance for the Green Eagles, Christopher Chukwukadibia, also known as Bobo Mordi, accomplished a remarkable feat by scoring a hat-trick during an international friendly match against Gabon in Libreville.

This outstanding performance took place on August 29, 1965, as the Eagles triumphed 4-1 against the Panthers in front of their home crowd.

Thompson Usiyan:

Thompson Usiyan marked his name in history as the third Nigerian player to achieve a hat-trick, a remarkable feat he accomplished by scoring three goals against Benin Republic.

This memorable performance took place at the National Stadium in Lagos on February 14, 1977, during an international friendly match between the West African neighbors.

The Green Eagles dominated the game, ending it with a resounding 7-0 victory, with Usiyan, who had become a regular in the senior national team, finding the back of the net three times, leaving the Benin goalkeeper with no chance.

Segun Odegbami: 

Segun Odegbami, affectionately known as “Mathematical,” is undeniably one of Nigeria's most gifted footballers. His prowess on the field solidified his status as one of the nation's football legends.

Odegbami made history as the fifth player to achieve a hat-trick for the Eagles, accomplishing this remarkable feat by scoring his 10th, 11th, and 12th international goals during the qualifying series of the third All Africa Games.

This historic moment unfolded on January 14, 1978, during a match against Benin Republic, which took place in Lagos.

Victor Ikpeba:

Victor IKPEBA during UEFA Champions League
Credit: Icon Sport

Victor Ikpeba, renowned as the Prince of Monaco, added his name to the esteemed list of Nigerian players with hat-tricks to their name.

The former African Footballer of the Year showcased his remarkable skills by scoring three goals when the Super Eagles convincingly defeated a resilient Namibian team 4-0 during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The icing on the cake was Pascal Ojigwe's contribution, adding a fourth goal in the late stages of the match, which unfolded on September 2, 2000.

Ikechukwu Uche: 

Ikechukwu Uche's memorable hat-trick may have occurred during a friendly match against a Portuguese second division side, Farense, in a test match played in Faro on January 15, 2013, but it still places him in the prestigious group of ten players who have achieved the remarkable feat of scoring three goals for the Nigerian national team.

Nnamdi Oduamadi:

Nnamdi Oduamadi, affectionately known as Robhino, etched his name into the annals of Nigerian football greatness with a sensational hat-trick against Tahiti during a FIFA Confederations Cup match in 2013.

The Super Eagles put on a dominating display in Belo Horizonte, securing a predictably easy 6-1 victory against a spirited yet undeniably limited Tahiti side.

Odion Ighalo:

In a remarkable turnaround, Odion Jude Ighalo, who had faced criticism and scrutiny from Nigerian fans for his World Cup miss against Argentina, finally silenced his critics and justified the faith that Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr had in him.

This redemption story unfolded at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium during an AFCON 2019 qualifying match. On that memorable Saturday, October 13, Ighalo produced a hat-trick that not only put his past struggles behind him but also etched his name into the history books.

The former Watford star showcased his resilience and determination, dispatching three goals past the Libyan goalkeeper, leaving no doubt about his prowess and commitment to the national team's cause.

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. She grew up in a footballing environment, supporting both Bayern Munich and Wydad Athletic Club. She began her English journalism career by hosting a podcast for the first English radio station in Morocco. Currently, the Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBall Live readers.