Nigeria is blessed with many talented footballers who sadly never played for the Super Eagles- the national team.
This was due to issue of dual nationalities, personal decision to represent other countries or lack of opportunity.
Here is a list of such household football talents who never played for Nigeria:
David Olatokunbo Alaba was born in Vienna to a Filipino mother (a nurse) and a Nigerian father, a DJ and former rapper. He is an Austrian professional footballer, who plays for Bayern Munich and the Austria national team.
He holds Austria’s record as the youngest player in the senior national team, debuting in 2009 as a 17-year-old. He has played in a multitude of roles, including central midfield, central defence, right and left wing but has since blossomed as a left-back.
Gabriel Imuetinyan “Gabby” Agbonlahor was born 13 October 1986. Agbonlahor was one of four children born to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother in Birmingham. The English professional footballer plays as a striker for Championship club Aston Villa.
Chinedum “Nedum” Onuoha plays for Real Salt Lake in the MLS. He is a defender, typically a centre back but he can also play at right back or left back. Born in Warri, Nigeria, Onuoha was brought up in Manchester, England.
In March 2007, Onuoha received an international call up from Nigeria but announced he would like to play for England at full international level. Onuoha has never been capped by England at international level.
Shockingly, Ross Barkley is of Nigerian decent. Conceived on December 5, 1993, Barkley is an English footballer who plays for Everton and English national group as a midfielder. Barkley was brought up in Liverpool, his paternal granddad was Nigerian and that makes him qualified to play for both England and Nigeria.
He, at last, selected England and has played at U-16, U-17, U-19, U-20, U-21 and senior team.
Emmanuel Adebayor is a Togolese footballer who plays as a striker for Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir. He previously played for English clubs Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace as well as French sides Metz and Monaco and Spanish team Real Madrid.
He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2008.
Patrick Olukayode Owomoyela
Patrick Owomoyela was born to a German mother and a Nigerian father. Owomoyela plays as a right-sided defender/midfielder. He had been capped by Germany at international level and was a member of the squad at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup. He has since retired into sports broadcasting.
Nigerian-born Angelo Obinze Ogbonna is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for West Ham United and the Italian national team.
Ogbonna was born to Nigerian parents who emigrated to Italy in 1983.
Stefano Okaka Chuka
Stefano Chuka Okaka was born in Castiglione del Lago, Perugia, Italy to Nigerian parents who later obtained Italian citizenship. Okaka joined the Roma youth system in 2004.
The Italian played as a striker for Premier League club Watford and the national team. He is currently with Spezia Calcio on loan from Serie A club Parma.
In April 2014, Okaka revealed he talked with the Nigeria Football Federation about the possibility of him playing with the Nigeria national football team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Born to a German mother and a Nigerian father, Dennis Aogo is a left wing-back or midfielder with Schalke 04. The 30-year old footballer once revealed in an interview that Nigeria once invited him to play for the national team which he turned down.
”When I heard Nigeria wanted me for the World Cup, I had to really think about it. But I hesitated because Nigerians won’t recognise me as a true African, it’s a totally different culture from what I am used to in Germany.
“I know many Africans who were born in Europe are now playing for African teams but they are not regarded as locals. Nigeria is not well organised like what I am used to in Germany. I have been to Nigeria once for 14 days and so I knew what I wanted,” he said then.
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