Super Eagles players to win Europe’s top 5 league titles

Super Eagles players to win Europe’s top 5 league titles
Photo by Icon Sport

Quite a number of Super Eagles players have had success in Europe over the course of their football careers.

While some of the Nigerian football icons who plied their trade in some of the biggest leagues in Europe have retired, a new generation of stars have emerged and taken their game to greater heights.

Nigeria is blessed with footballing talents which cut across the entire country. For some, their journey to stardom started slowly, while some others made it faster depending on favourable conditions which aided their rise.

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Super Eagles players. Photo by Icon Sport.

Illustrious careers of Super Eagles players in Europe

Playing in Europe is the dream of every young aspiring footballer that comes from Africa, Asia and the Americas.

The level of football in Europe is the best. They have the biggest and most lucrative leagues on the planet.

And so, footballers all want to have the opportunity to play in the best leagues where their game is certain to grow to new heights if they work hard and maintain the right attitude.

Super Eagles players who have become a household name globally etched their status in the annals of football history while playing in the top five European leagues which are the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and the French Ligue 1.

Retired legendary names like Austin ‘Jay-Jay' Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Finidi George, Sunday Oliseh, Stephen Keshi, Daniel Amokachi, John Obi Mikel, Obafemi Martins, Joseph Yobo and many others, had beautiful careers in some of these best European leagues.

Former Super Eagles player Austin Okocha
Austin Okocha. Photo by Icon Sport

The current generation of Nigerian football stars have seen the likes of Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman, Victor Boniface, Taiwo Awoniyi, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and hosts of other players, continue to have good careers in the biggest leagues in Europe.

In this article, we'll take a look at the Super Eagles players that won at least one of Europe's top five league titles.

Join us as we unfold the names of these Nigerians whose football careers in some of the best European leagues resulted in winning their most important club domestic titles.

Super Eagles players that won the English Premier League

Bear in mind, the Premier League is the biggest top-flight league Nigerians have played in during the course of their careers. The very best of the Super Eagles have featured there at some point in time.

Here, we take a look at the three elite Super Eagles players to have won the Premier League, the most popular league on Earth.

1. Nwankwo Kanu

Former Super Eagles player Nwankwo Kanu
Photo by Icon Sport

Nigerian great Nwankwo Kanu became the first Super Eagle to win the English Premier League, a title he won twice.

Kanu joined Arsenal in February 1999 but waited three whole years before he won his first EPL title. He played 23 league games for Arsenal and netted three goals as the Gunners won the English top-flight in 2002.

In 2004, Kanu was part of the famous Arsene Wenger ‘Invincibles' team. Although he didn't play much, appearing just 10 times and scoring just one goal, Papillo won his second EPL title.

2. John Obi Mikel

Super Eagles star Mikel Obi played 11 years for Chelsea
Photo by Icon Sport.

The retired Super Eagles captain became the second Nigerian to win the Premier League in 2010, before going on to win it again in 2015.

Mikel joined Chelsea in 2006 but had to wait for four years to get his first EPL medal as the Carlo Ancelotti side won the title in the 2009/10 season with the Nigerian playing 25 league matches and scoring no goal.

During the 2014/15 season, Mikel won his second EPL title, this time under coach Jose Mourinho. He made 18 league appearances and scored zero goals.

3. Victor Moses

Super Eagles winger Victor Moses won 2 epl
Photo by Icon Sport

Former Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winner Victor Moses, is the third Nigerian to ever win the Premier League.

Moses was part of the Chelsea team that reigned supreme during the 2016/17 season where he became the Nigerian with the most Premier League appearances for a title winning team.

The winger featured 34 times under Antonio Conte and scored three goals.

Super Eagles players that won the German Bundesliga

A handful of Nigerians have played in the German Bundesliga. Players like Pascal Ojigwe, Sunday Oliseh, Austin Okocha, Victor Ikpeba, Obafemi Martins and a few others.

However, only four Nigerians have had the luxury of winning the German Bundesliga title. They are:

1. Pascal Ojigwe

Retired Super Eagles midfielder Pascal Ojigwe became the first Nigerian to win the German top-flight league. This he did in the 1997/98 season with Kaiserslautern.

2. Sunday Oliseh

Legendary Nigerian midfielder and former captain Sunday Oliseh, became just the second Super Eagle to win the German Bundesliga. This he did whilst playing for Borussia Dortmund in the 2001/02 season.

3. Victor Boniface

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Photo by Icon Sport.

Victor Boniface played a crucial role for Bayer Leverkusen in their Bundesliga title victory on 14 April 2024. He scored in the title-deciding game against Werder Bremen.

The Ondo-born striker hit double digit goals and assists for Xabi Alonso's record-breaking team who strolled to the title without losing a game to record their first league title in 120 years of the club's existence.

For Boniface, the future looks really bright and will one day, for sure, end up in the Premier League.

4. Nathan Tella

Nathan Tella joined his compatriot Boniface to make history in their debut Bundesliga season with Bayer Leverkusen, as the club clinched their first-ever league title in a record-breaking fashion against Werder Bremen.

The defender is one of the key figures in Die Werkself's title winning team who did so well to lift the silverware with five matches to spare.

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Super Eagles players that won the Italian Serie A

Only three Nigerians have won the Serie A at the time of writing this piece. Who are they? Get to know below.

1. Obafemi Martins

Obafemi Martins, popularly known as ‘Oba goal', was the first Super Eagles player to win the Italian Serie A title.

Known for his speed and finishing abilities, Martins was a member of the Inter Milan side who claimed the Scudetto during the 2005/06 season. He made 28 league appearances and scored nine goals for Inter as they marched to the title.

2. Victor Obinna Nsofor

Although Victor Obinna Nsofor had a limited playing time during the 2008/09 season with Inter Milan, he won the Serie A title with them to become the second Nigeria to do so.

Nsofor made just nine league appearances for the Nerazzurri that season, scoring just one time.

3. Victor Osimhen

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Osimhen celebrates winning the Scudetto: Photo by Icon Sport.

The Super Eagles forward entered the history books of Napoli as they won their first Scudetto in 33 years during the 2022/23 season.

Victor Osimhen was key in the title triumph as his 26 goals in 32 Serie A games helped the Partenopei break an over three-decades-long failure in the Italian top-flight.

His performances earned him the 2023 CAF Player of the Year award and he became the third Super Eagles player to win the Italian league.

Super Eagles players that won Spanish La Liga

Several Nigerian players who made it to the Super Eagles team have graced the Spanish La Liga in time past. However, only one has won the title.

1. Gbenga Okunowu

Former Super Eagles defender Gbenga Okunowu became the only Nigerian to win the Spanish La Liga title in the 1998/99 season with FC Barcelona.

Okunowu achieved this feat while as a rising 18-year-old star during his first season with the Catalan giants.

He was not a regular player in the team's squad then but managed to play 14 matches for Barcelona enroute to the Spanish title.

Super Eagles players that won the French Ligue 1

Terem Moffi embodies the new generation of Nigerian players playing in the French Ligue as at the time of writing this article.

However, the likes of Wilson Oruma, John Utaka, Taribo West, Victor Ikpeba, Austin Okocha, Vincent Enyeama and Victor Moses are some of the Nigerians who left a mark in the French Ligue.

Surprisingly though, only two Nigerians have won the French Ligue so far in history. They are:

1. Victor Ikpeba

Popularly called the ‘Prince of Monaco', Victor Ikpeba played his best club football during his time in France with AS Monaco under legendary coach Arsen Wenger.

Ikpeba became the first Super Eagle to win the French Ligue 1 in the 1996/97 season where he showcased outstanding form to finish with 13 league goals as Monaco won the league title.

His performances that season earned him the African Footballer of the Year award in 1997.

2. Wilson Oruma

The second Nigerian to win the French Ligue 1 is Wilson Oruma. The former Super Eagles midfielder won the title with Lens during the 1997/98 season.

Oruma spent most of his football career in France where he made over 200 appearances, but it was in Lens where he won the league title.

Honourable mention: Super Eagles players that won the UEFA Champions League

  • Nwankwo Kanu in the 1994/95 season while at Ajax Amsterdam.
  • Finidi George in the 1994/95 season with Ajax Amsterdam.
  • John Obi Mikel in the 2011/12 season while at Chelsea.

Honourable mention: Super Eagles players that won the UEFA Europa League

  • Nwankwo Kanu during the 1997/98 season with Inter Milan.
  • Taribo West won the title in 1997/98 season with Inter Milan.
  • Chidi Odiah won the Europa League in 2005 during his time in CSKA Moskow.
  • John Obi Mikel during the 2012/13 season with Chelsea.
  • Victor Moses in the 2012/13 and 2018/19 season with Chelsea.

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.