Top 7 Nigerian-Born Stars At The 2022 FIFA World Cup

For the first time in a very long time, Nigeria’s national side, the Super Eagles, will not be in Qatar for the start of the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup. Nevertheless, some players with Nigerian origin will participate in the biggest football tournament in the world after being chosen for other squads. The following is a list of the top 7 World Cup players that are of Nigerian heritage.

Iké Dominique Ugbo

Representing – Canada, Age – 24, Club – Troyes, Position – Forward

Because of his parents, Ike Ugbo qualified to represent Nigeria, England, and Canada (through youth residency). The England U20 team won the 2017 Toulon Tournament thanks to the Chelsea academy product. However, Ugbo made his intention to play for three-time champions of Africa, Nigeria, public in September 2021.

But a few months later, the 24-year-old forward reversed course and chose to change his country of citizenship to Canada.

Ugbo was chosen for Canada’s roster for Qatar 2022 despite only having eight appearances for the Reds and failing to score a goal in any of those games. The Troyes star will want to create history by helping the Canadians go past the group stage for the first time ever.

Samuel Ayomide Adekugbe

Representing – Canada, Age – 27, Club – Hatayspor, Position – Left-back

Samuel Adekugbe, who was born in England to parents of Nigerian descent and was reared in Canada, could have competed for any of the three nations.

Adekugbe was given an opportunity at the young level, though, and was a part of Canada’s team for the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup. Adekugbe will make his debut appearance at football’s biggest celebration at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Noah Arinzechukwu Okafor

Representing – Switzerland, Age – 24, Club – Red Bull Salzburg, Position – Winger, forward

Noah Okafor was born to a Nigerian father and a Swiss mother in Binningen, Switzerland. The forward, who has been a part of the Swiss junior system since the under-15s, was discovered to be talented when playing for the Basel youth school.

The Salzburg winger debuted for Switzerland in the current season. The victory over Bulgaria in November, which gave Switzerland automatic qualifying to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, also confirmed his place in Qatar.

Jamal Musiala

Representing – Germany, Age – 19, Club – Bayern Munich, Position – Midfielder, winger

One of the most gifted young players in the world today, Jamal Musiala has already won 17 caps for Germany at just 19 after only making his international debut in 2021. A Chelsea academy product, Musiala was eligible to play for Nigeria (through his father), England, and Germany.

The wonderkid represented the youth teams of the two European countries at different times. But Musiala finally decided for the four-time world champions. The Bayern Munich star could be crucial to any height Germany attain in Qatar.

Karim-David Adeyemi

Representing – Germany, Age – 20, Club – Borussia Dortmund, Position – Forward

Karim Adeyemi was born in Munich to a Nigerian father and a Romanian mother. Germany used this information to its advantage to include the child into their youth system. Adeyemi, who is regarded as a generational potential, earned the Fritz Walter prize for the greatest young German in 2019.

The former Salzburg attacker only directed Germany to success at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship last year. The Nationalelf will also be hoping that Adeyemi can assist Qatar win another championship.

Manuel Obafemi Akanji

Representing – Switzerland. Age – 27, Club – Manchester City, Position – Defender

Also born to a Swiss mother and a Nigerian father, Manuel Akanji could have been playing for the Super Eagles. But the Neftenbach-born centre-back’s progression from the Swiss youth teams to the national side was completed in 2017.

And after amassing 43 international caps for the Red Crosses, Akanji is one of the most experienced heads in the Swiss camp in Qatar.And the Manchester City defender will target a repeat of the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals, where his team finished fourth.

Bukayo Ayoyinka Saka

Representing – England, Age – 21, Club – Arsenal, Position – Winger, left-back, midfielder

Considered one of the best young football players in the world, Bukayo Saka’s aim in Qatar will include making amends for his penalty miss in the final of last year’s European Championship.

Winner of Arsenal’s Player of the Season award over the last two seasons, Saka heads to his first World Cup with more experience than many within his age bracket.The 21-year-old winger could have been representing Nigeria, though, through his parents.


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