7 Nigerian footballers who have lifted a UEFA cup.

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Here in this article, we take a sneak peek into amazing footballers of Nigerian origin who have once lifted one of Europe’s most coveted titles – the Europa and Champions League Cup.

This list is in no particular order
  • Samuel Chukwueze
  • John Mikel obi
  • Taribo West
  • Nwakwo Kanu
  • Finidi George
  • Chidi Odiah
  • Victor Moses
1. SAMUEL CHUKWUEZE (EUROPA LEAGUE, VILLAREAL).
Samuel Chukwueze with Europa cup.

After 15 matches in the 2020/21 Europa League, Villareal became eventual winners of much-coveted title. It was, indeed, a big moment for Samuel Chukwueze who won the Title alongside his team mates, making him the 5th Nigerian player to do so.

He extended his fine form at Laliga into the Europa, registering 2 assists and scoring 1 goal.

Samuel Chukwueze helped Villareal breeze past Arsenal with a goal and an assist. This first-leg result was all Villareal needed to secure a UEL final ticket for the first time in their history.

Unfortunately, Samuel – owing to his fitness issues – was not included in his team’s squad list in the final against Manchester United. Villareal, eventually, won the on penalties (11-10) after a tight 1-1 draw in the 120-minute.

2. JOHN MIKEL OBI (EUROPA & CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, CHELSEA).
Mikel Obi

John Mikel Obi is the first and only Nigerian player that holds both the UEFA Europa and Champions league title. Mikel lifted the Champions league trophy in 2012 after a 3-4 (pen) win against Bayern Munich.

Despite that Mikel Obi made little goal contributions, the quality he brought to Chelsea’s midfield is second to none.
In the following season – in 2013 – Chelsea played in the Europa league and, consequently, won the title. Mikel was very instrumental in their win.

3. TARIBO WEST (EUROPA LEAGUE WINNER, INTER MILAN).
Taribo West
Taribo West.

The former Derby county defender, Taribo West, fought and cemented for a place at the centre of defence during his stay at Inter-Milan. Taribo would later lift the UEFA Europa league trophy after beating Lazio 3-goal nil in the final.

To add, the Super Eagles player enjoyed playing time with the then most expensive player – Ronaldo de Lima. And after his UEL triumph, suggestions that Taribo West is the best centre-back Nigeria has produced filled everywhere.

4. NWANKWO KANU (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WINNER, AJAX)
Nwakwo Kanu
Nwankwo Kanu.

During his illustrious career at Ajax, Nwankwo Kanu added to his list of silverwares, winning the UEFA Champions league with the Dutch champions.

Ajax Amsterdam became the winners of 1994/95 Champions league edition after a 1-0 win over AC Milan. Kanu came up as a half-time substitute in the final.

He nearly made the score line 2-0 when he fired a shot past the AC Milan shot stopper, but it went on to hit the sidebar. Throughout the match, Nwakwo Kanu was much more of a “super-sub.”

5. FINIDI GEORGE (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, AJAX)
Finidi George at Ajax
Finidi George at Ajax.

Alongside Nwankwo, Finidi George featured in the 1994/95 final in Austria.  He will remain unforgotten in the Ajax’s history for his superb strike against Bayern Munich which earned them a ticket to the final.

Finidi had an up-to-par dribbling skills and was well-known for his ability to drive into the opposition defence that after his move to Real Betis, he was voted the best right winger in the world.

The Super Eagles star is definitely one of the best Nigerian footballers to have kicked a ball.

6. CHIDI ODIAH (EUROPA LEAGUE, CSKA MOSCOW)
Chidi Odiah
Chidi Odiah

This talented winger played for CSKA in his prime. And he is one of the few Nigerians to have lifted the Europa League Trophy. He scored his first UEFA goal in his club’s 4-0 win over Auxerre in the quarter-finals.

In the finals, CSKA Moscow beat Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon to emerge winners of the 2004/05 Europa cup.

7. VICTOR MOSES (EUROPA LEAGUE, CHELSEA)
Victor Moses
Victor Moses (right).

In 2013, alongside Mikel, Moses was part of the Europa League-winning team in his first season at the club, and actually excelled in a more attacking role.

He scored five goals en route to the title—averaging a goal every other game—and was part of Chelsea and Internazionale teams that reached two further finals.

WRAP-UP.

Clearly, Nigeria has a lot to show when subjects of European cups arise.

However, there’s no Nigerian who has won the UEFA Conference League Cup ever the since the competition was introduced in May 2021.

Only Cyriel Dessers has come close to winning it, reaching the finals with Feyenoord in 2021/22.

We will be hoping to have that too!

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