Over the years, different players have had the privilege of wearing the captain’s armband for the Super Eagles. It is the highest privilege that you could earn as a Nigerian professional footballer, and it is a goal that a lot of young Nigerians aspire to.
Different captains are picked for different reasons. Some captains are picked because of their charisma and leadership skill while others are selected because of their game changing talent and ability to lead by example. Longevity in the squad could also be the reason a player becomes captain.
Whatever the reason may be, the great captains on this list have worn the armband with grace and led the Nigerian National football team to great success.
John Obi Mikel
There isn’t a better person to start with than one of the greatest players to ever put on the Super Eagles jersey. In his playing days, Mikel Obi enjoyed success playing for club and country and won honors throughout his career.
For the Super Eagles, he is the fourth most capped player ever with 91 appearances to his name, scoring six goals. Although he never led the team to a major trophy, he was an integral part of the side that won the Africa Cup Of Nations in 2013. He did captain the side to a Bronze medal finish at the 2019 edition of the tournament.
This legend is one of the most recognizable nigerian players of his generation. The man who was considered one of the better defenders in the Premier League in his heyday is also one of the greatest Super Eagles skippers.
Yobo made 101 appearances for the Super Eagles (joint second all time) and captained his side to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations triumph. He also participated in three FIFA World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
The late, great Stephen Keshi is a name that leaves a great impression in the hearts of Super Eagles supporters, both young and old. He is widely regarded as the greatest Super Eagles captain ever.
The man who was known as “The Big Boss” was the captain of arguably the greatest Super Eagles side ever. He lifted the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and led a team filled with greats like Peter Rufai, Rasheed Yekini, Jay Jay Okocha and Finidi George, among others to Nigeria’s first ever FIFA World Cup in 1994.
He was capped 68 times and scored nine goals for his country. Decades later, he became the manager of the national team and won the AFCON in 2013. Mikel Obi also described him as the best manager he has played under.
Not a lot of Super Eagles fans nowadays will know about Christian Chukwu but his name will be etched in history as one of the Nigeria Professional Football League’s greatest players as well as arguably Nigeria’s most important captain.
In 1980, “The Chairman” became the first Nigerian captain in history to lift the AFCON trophy after Nigeria beat Algeria 3-0. To those who watched the former Enugu Rangers defender play, he was regarded as a trailblazer.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago