Top 5 Greatest Nigerian Strikers of All Time

Topping our list of the greatest Nigerian strikers is Nwankwo Kanu, the West African nation's most decorated player.




nigerian players


Nigeria has repeatedly given the world great strikers. Some of them could be called penalty area predators and masters of standard positions. Soccer fans always enjoy watching those who have repeatedly been attributed the important yesterday livescore result.

The Nigerian football school contributed the world soccer with many genuine stars. Some were distinguished by their magnificent dribbling, others by their flair for goals. One thing is important: the final score often depended solely on their efforts and skills. We will take the liberty of selecting the top five Nigerian scorers of all time.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni

Yakubu began his career with Israeli Maccabi Haifa F.C. before transferring to Portsmouth in January 2003. The Nigerian national team player rose to fame during his time on the south coast where he scored 29 Premier League goals in just 68 games. The athlete nicknamed Yak is a powerful striker feared by Premier League defenders.

He was long hunted by various clubs and eventually, Yakubu signed for £7.5 million contract with Middlesbrough in 2005. Then he finished the season as the club's top striker having scored 19 goals in various championships and cups. He forged a strong partnership with Mark Viduka and helped Borough F.C. make it to the final game of the UEFA Cup in 2006.

Yakubu's career at Everton F.C. had a meteoric start when he scored in his debut match against Bolton Wanderers. He continued to be a steady threat throughout the season, scoring a career-best 21 goals.

Yak is the fifth leading African striker in the Premier League Era with 96 goals. Therefore, he has written his name with golden letters in the history of both Nigerian soccer and the English Premier League.

Teslim Balogun

Balogun was born in his hometown of Lagos on March 27, 1931. He was destined to be a pioneer among African soccer players. This 6-foot-2-inch striker became Nigeria's first professional soccer player and Nigeria's first qualified soccer coach.

While being a high school student in Nigeria, the young center forward played for many clubs, including St. Mary's Catholic School, the Maritime Sports Club, and the Railroad Sports Club. It was here that his passion for soccer was really revealed. His powerful kick became widely known in the city of Lagos. As a result, he was quickly nicknamed "Thunder" and "Balinga," and those names would follow him throughout his soccer career.

In 1955, Balogun met a Queens Park Rangers supporter who connected him with their manager, Jack Taylor. After meeting with the Nigerian athlete, Mr. Taylor agreed to sign him giving the West London club a much-needed striker before the 1956/57 season.

Balogun made his league debut for Third Division on October 13, 1956. It was a 3-1 home win over local Watford where the tall striker scored with a header. He scored seven goals in 16 games that year playing alongside a number of legendary QPR players, including Ron Springett, a goalkeeper, and the record holder Tony Ingham. He spent only one season with the Rangers, and then Balogun was transferred to a non-league team, Holbeach United, and finally returned to his native Nigeria.

During his soccer career, he won six matches for the Nigerian national team becoming the first Nigerian professional soccer player and a role model for future generations of Nigerian footballers. After retiring from the game he loved, Balogun broke another racial barrier and became the first qualified soccer coach in Africa leading his national team to the 1968 Summer Olympics. Balogun died on July 30, 1972, at the age of 45.

Segun Odegbami

Patrick Olusegun Odegbami, widely known as Segun, was born to the family of Jacob Adebola Odegbami and Beatrice Bintu Abebe Odegbami in Abeokuta on August 27, 1952. Segun Odegbami is considered one of Nigeria's greatest soccer players.

Odegbami won the Nigerian Premier League in 1976, 1980, and 1983. that time he played for Shooting Star. He also won the Nigerian Cup with the club in 1977 and 1979. In 1978, Odegbami won a silver medal in the 1978 All-African Games with the Nigerian national team. He played for the Nigerian national team. That time it won the 1980 African Cup of Nations. This victory earned him the prestigious National Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) Award. Segun was recognized as the top striker in the Africa Cup of Nations in 1978 and 1980.

Segun Odegbami won the double against Algeria in the final match of the African Cup of Nations in 1980. He was also part of the African Cup of Nations tournament team in 1980. That same year he won the African Footballer of the Year award coming in second place. In 1980, Segun was also captain of the Eagles at the Moscow Olympics. Segun scored 23 goals for the Nigerian national team in 46 games. After his retirement, Segun took up a career as a sports journalist and broadcaster.

Rashidi Yekini

The striker has become the top scorer in the history of the Nigerian national soccer team.

The Kwara-born footballer was the first Nigerian to win the prestigious African Player of the Year award. He was also the author of Nigeria's first goal at the 1994 World Cup, scoring the first goal in the country's triumph match against Bulgaria.

Yekini began his soccer career at UNTL, Kaduna, in 1981. From 1981 to 1982, he scored 12 goals in 30 matches. He moved to Europe to play for Portuguese first division team Vitoria Setúbal in1990. From 1990 to 1994, Yekini scored 91 goals in 114 matches. He also won the Golden Shoe in his last season with Vitoria Setubal.

He joined Olympiacos, a Greek club, after the 1994 World Cup and scored just two goals in four games between 1994 and 1995.

Yekini moved to Spanish Real Sporting in the summer of 1995. During his only season there, he scored three goals in 14 games before returning to Vitoria Setubal on a loan. This time, he scored three goals in 14 games for Vitoria Setúbal. Then he was transferred to Zurich, Switzerland, where he scored 14 goals in 28 games between 1997 and 1998.

Yekini played 62 matches for the Nigerian national team and scored 37 goals.

Nwankwo Kanu



The striker was born in Owerri, Imo, on August 1, 1976. He started his professional soccer career with Federation Works, a Nigerian club. Later he changed it to Iwuanyanwu Nationale.

Kanu was once the captain of the Nigerian national team that won the gold medal at the Olympics. He was also noted as the player who scored in the game against Brazil and helped the Nigerians to make it from 2-3 to 4-3 in extra time. Nwankwo Kanu was recognized as the 1996 African Footballer of the Year.




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