Nigeria has proven to be a birthplace of exciting footballing talent for several decades now. Over the years, the Super Eagles have been represented by immensely talented players who inevitably found their way to European arenas.
Some of these players were extremely influential and even went on to lift major titles with their respective European clubs. These famous stars have been a large source of inspiration for multitudes of not just Nigerian youngsters, but youngsters all over the world, aspiring to make it through the ranks.
In this article, we take a look at arguably the top 5 Nigerian footballers who made their mark in Europe.
#5 John Obi Mikel
Captain of the current Nigerian football team, John Obi Mikel now plays as a midfielder for Chinese club, Tianjin TEDA. However, his illustrious career saw him make a controversial move to Chelsea in 2006, aged just 19. He went on to represent the Blues for the next decade until he was released in November 2016.
His 10-year career in England saw him lift 11 trophies which include two Premier League titles and four FA Cup titles which helped cement Chelsea’s spot in the top echelons of European football. Mikel was managed by a number of managers, most of which made glowing remarks about him.
“He is a genius in his position. It is a miracle if he loses the ball,” said Jose Mourinho about his young Nigerian star back in 2007.
Mikel was a crucial cog in the Chelsea midfield that evolved into a menacing unit. He displayed immense stamina and a praiseworthy work ethic which made him a household name amongst Chelsea stakeholders and supporters alike.