Nigerian Football Players Representing Other Countries
The Nigerian football team is one of the best teams in Africa. Currently, the team is competing at the 2024 AFCON with very high chances of going all the way and lifting the trophy. The Nigerian football team squad sounds fit, with a number of players coming from some of the best teams in Europe.
However, what would you say if we told you that the team would have been even stronger? There are actually a slew of Nigerian football players that decided to represent other countries. What do you think? How strong would the Super Eagles be if these footballers were added to the team’s roster?
Bukayo Saka (England)
Bukayo Saka is probably one of the most famous Nigerian football players not representing his home country. Actually, Saka was born in Ealing, England, in 2001, so he has never lived in Nigeria. He is the son of Nigerian parents who emigrated as economic migrants.
Saka started his football career at youth level in Greenford Celtic. He moved to Arsenal and spent all of his senior career with the Gunners. Emerging as one of their most prolific players. Naturally, Gareth Southgate noticed his talents and granted him a call-up for the Three Lions. He debuted in 2020 and played his first major tournament at the 2020 Euros.
Jamal Musiala (Germany)
Germany’s golden boy, Jamal Musiala, actually had to make an early choice in his career upon which country to represent. Having been born in Stuttgart, Germany, to a Nigerian father and a German mother, but spending most of his youth in England, he had a choice between three nations for which he could have played.
Jamal actually played for both England and Germany at various youth levels. So it seemed that the Super Eagles were out of the question early on. Eventually, he settled on representing the country of his mother. He is considered one of the best prospects that Germany has ever had. If he had decided to represent Nigeria, he would have easily become one of the best Nigerian football players.
David Alaba (Austria)
One of the best Austrian football players of all time, David Alaba, could have easily played for the Nigerian national team instead. He was actually born in Vienna, Austria, to a Nigerian father and a Filipino mother. Alaba began playing football for the local club named Aspern and quickly joined Austria Wien at the age of 10.
In 2008, he joined Bayern Munich, where he slowly but surely emerged from the ranks. Becoming one of their best players. Alaba is very versatile, meaning that he can play either as a centre-back, left-back, or even a midfielder. Nigeria could have used a player of his calibre, especially in the defence.
Ross Barkley (England)
Yup, you read it well. Ross Barkley is one of the Nigerian famous football players to never dawn the Super Eagles shirt. While he was born in Liverpool in 1993, he has a Nigerian father. He decided to use his mother’s maiden name instead of Effanga.
Barkley was one of the best prospects at the youth level and even touted as the next David Beckham. He played his best football while at Everton, where he stayed for eight years. While he did make 33 appearances for the Three Lions and scored six goals, he never got to the level that he was projected to reach. He now plays for Luton Town. But who knows where his career would have gone if he had played for Nigeria instead of England?