Euro 2020: 4 Players of Nigerian descent who helped their parent countries reach round of 16

Going from John Fashanu and Dele Alli, there were plenty of Nigerian-born players who decided not to wear the national team shirt throughout their successful careers.

However, the country was always packed with highly-talented names and such an absence did not leave significant consequences on the team’s results.

For the first time in a while, we can discuss the lack of talent as it is hard to find a genuine Nigerian star in European football. This is why, with the help and support of the experts at, we decided to create a list of players who would have been of massive help for the current Nigerian team had they decided to play for their parents’ country and helped them reach Euro 2020 round of 16.

Manuel Akanji

The 25-year-old defender is a first-team regular for Dortmund. He made a move to the Bundesliga in the summer of 2018 after spending three years in Basel. Akanji is the kind of a player all coaches appreciate as he always works hard. A centre-back playing regularly for Switzerland, he has featured three times at the Euros.

David Alaba

Speaking of the players, David Alaba is the biggest name on the list. Alaba was the heart of Bayern Munich’s team for the last 11 years. But he moved to Real Madrid at the summer. He has represented Austria on more than 80 occasions. Interestingly, his contributions helped them catapult to round 16 of Euros.

Karim Onisiwo

Onisiwo chose Austria over Nigeria. He made his international debut for Austria against Switzerland in 2015. The 29-year-old has made just one appearance for Austria at the Euros.

Bukayo Saka

At the age of 19, Saka has prospects of being the future star of the game. He made a breakthrough with Arsenal in the 2018/19 season and continued to shine for the Gunners at the 2020/21 campaign. Being still a teenager, Saka can be proud of more than 6 appearances for the Three Lions. He was named man of the match as England pipped Czech Republic 1-0 on Tuesday.

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