Friday, 20 January 2017


Nigeria is a country with much talents and in football particularly, this country is never in short supply gifted individual. However, while some have grown from the ranks to stardom, respecting the great colors of the Super Eagles - the green, white and green, others have chosen to respect the colors of other countries. But whether this happens by dual Nationalities, lack of opportunities to impress on the home front or outright decision to represent other countries, Nigeria can boast of wealthy array of football talents in the world.


Don't be surprised, this is true. Rose Barkley is of Nigerian descent. Born on the 5th of December 1993, Barkley is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Everton an the England national team. His paternal grandfather was Nigerian. He is eligible to play for both England and Nigeria through his paternal grandfather, Nigeria, but opted to represent his country of birth. He has represented England at under-16, under-17, under-19, under-20, under-21 and senior level.

Razak Omotoyossi (born 8 October 1985) is a Nigerian-born Beninese footballer who plays for Olympic Safi and also for the Benin national football team. Omotoyossi who plays as a striker, has played in Nigeria, Egypt, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and France.

Born in Lagos, Omotoyossi started his career in his native Nigeria, but was nearly derailed when the Nigeria Football Federation[1] slammed a five-year ban on him for allegedly assaulting a referee during a Premier League game between his club, Sunshine Stars and visiting Enyimba. He had though already left to play in neighbouring Benin. He later switched to Beninese citizenship the same year.

Omotoyossi has represented Benin at under-20 and full international levels.

On 10 June 2005 he scored in the Group A 1-1 draw with Australia at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. It was Benin's first-ever goal at a world finals. "I always want to score goals, every time I go out on the pitch." he said at the time. On 7 February 2007 he scored in a 2-1 friendly defeat to Senegal in Rouen, France.

He played in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring one goal in qualification - in the 4-1 home win over Togo on 19 June 2007 as Benin finished second in Group 9 to qualify for the finals in Ghana. Then in the finals, where Benin finished last place in Group B he scored a late consolation goal as Benin lost 4-1 to Côte d'Ivoire on 25 January 2008.

He scored eight goals in eight matches in 2008 for the national team, making him joint top scorer in the African World Cup/Nations Cup qualifiers with Samuel Eto'o.

He scored six goals in the Second round of qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup as Benin finished top in Group 3. His first two goals came on 8 June 2008 in the 4–1 win over Uganda. Six days later he scored in the 2–0 away win over Niger. On 7 September, his two goals in the 3–2 home win over Angola helped book Benin their place in the Third round. His sixth goal came in the final group game, a 2–1 away defeat to Uganda on 12 October.

In the Third and final qualification round, he scored twice as Benin finished second in Group D, just missing out on qualifying for the World Cup finals. He scored Benin's winning goal against Sudan on 5 June 2009, and scored a penalty in their final group game, a 2–1 away win over Sudan on 10 November.

He started his professional career in Benin with AJSA JS Pobè
Omotoyossi signed for Moldovan side FC Sheriff in November 2005.
On 26 July 2006 he scored a 92nd minute equalizing goal for Sheriff against Spartak Moscow in the second qualifying round of the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League.

In March 2007 he went on trial with Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Kfar Saba. He scored in a Toto Cup game, but did not sign for them as he found the challenge of the Swedish Allsvenskan more promising.

Saheed Adebayo Akinfenwa was born on the 10th of May 1982 and he is popularly known as Adebayo Akinfenwa, has spent his entire career in the lower leagues of English football but has still achieved global fame, thanks to a computer game. According to the makers of the top-selling football franchise, FIFA, Akinfenwa is the strongest player in the world, a title he is proud to accept and cherish at his level. He has never been considered a natural footballer, number of rugby clubs and American Universitires have asked him to switch sort because of his size and power. He share thesame football history with Ex-Nigerian player Shola Ameobi. 
The 32-year-old Akinfenwa has been overlooked by Nigeria Coaches and board members.



Sidney Sam was born on the 31st of January 1988, he is a German professional footballer who plays as a forward or winger for SV Darmstadt 98 on loan from Schalke 04. He is known for his explosive speed and dribbling style.

Sidney is born to a German mother and Nigerian father, Sam would have been eligible to play for the Nigeria national team, but decided early on to represent his country of birth. He was a German youth national player, starring in Germany's under-19 and under-20 teams. On 29 May 2013, He made his senior international debut for Germany in a friendly game against Ecuador in Boca Raton, Florida. On 8 May 2014, Sam was named to the 30-man provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup by German national team manager, Joachim Löw.

Dennis Aogo was born on the 14th of January 1987, he is a German professional footballer who plays as a left back and left wing-back or midfielder for Schalke 04.
Born to a German mother and a Nigerian father, Aogo grew up in Oberreut, a suburb in the south-west of Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg. In 2000, when his parents split up, he moved with his father to Bruchsal and left Karlsruher SC to join Waldhof Mannheim. In 2002, aged 15, he joined SC Freiburg and attended their youth academy while graduating with Mittlere Reife at Max-Weber-Schule in Freiburg.

Aogo was a member of the German U21 squad. Due to FIFA regulations at the time he was prevented from representing the Nigeria national team having earlier represented Germany at youth and at age group levels. But in a recent development football's world governing body FIFA have removed the age limit for switching of nationalities, meaning that Aogo could have represented Nigeria. However, after turning down several invitations by the Nigerian Football Association he declared his desire to continue representing Germany as he sees a good chance to earn a place in the German senior squad in the future. However, the homeland of his father Nigeria wanted to call him up for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as Shaibu Amodu watched him for a considerable time but on 5 January 2010 Aogo announced that he will only play for the Germany national football team. He made his national team debut for Germany in their first preparation game against Malta in a 3–0 victory on 13 May 2010, playing 79 minutes, before being replaced by fellow full-back and then Hamburg club mate Jérôme Boateng.


Ranti Martins Soleye was born on the 5th of September 1986, he is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Penang FA in the Malaysia Super League. Martins is one of the best foreign players to play in the Indian I-League, with a record 214 goals across all seasons. He set a single-season record for goals in the I-League by scoring 32 goals during the 2011–12 season for Dempo.

Martins as a teenager went to Anwar-L-Islam College in Agege, Lagos where he played for the football club in the Principal Cup and the Shell Cup. He then moved to Ghana where he joined Asante Kotoko Football Academy. He stayed at the Academy till 2004 before moving to King Faisal Babes in the Ghana Premier League.

Martins, despite playing in the Indian I-League, believes that he has what it takes to play for his birth country Nigeria. According to Martins he had a chance to play for the Nigerian U20s but AFC Cup commitments and the Dempo president failing to tell Martins on time stopped that from happening. Martins also said that at one point an official from the Nigeria Football Federation arrived in India to watch him play a match and that he would be watching Martins.

Martins also hit back at the question of how he would get a call-up if he was playing in the Indian league, a league considered lower standard for the Nigeria national team, by saying "I know that many people will begin to say that what is in India league, but I want to say here that the league in India is very strong. It is stronger than what we have in Nigeria because it is improving every season. More so, I want the handlers of the national team to look at the quality of the individuals and not where they play. I know my quality as a striker and I want the coaches, particularly Stephen Keshi to give an opportunity to prove myself. I won't disappoint him."

In 2003, Martins has the chance to play for Ghana National Team when he was using a Ghanaian passport from which his agent gave him and at one point he was offered the chance to join the Ghana U17s for the 2005 African U-17 Championship qualifiers. However Martins rejected the offer due to his loyalty towards Nigeria.
Ranti Martins who will turn 31 years this year have over all till date a total number of 213 appearances with 198 goals. What a big achievement for him. I bet no Nigerian player anywhere in the world have such record ratio of goals to number of appearances that can beat this.

The likes of Emmanueal Adebayor, David Alaba, Gabriel Agbonlahor and many others are among the list of players that deny playing for Nigeria National team due to various reasons.
Nigeria has many more talented players all around the world playing in some leagues but can still represent the national team of Nigeria, also numerous talent are present available in the Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL but might not represent the National team of Nigeria at needed time.


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