Lucky Men: 5 Nigerian Footballers You Don’t Know Won The AFCON

The Africa Cup of Nations reminded us all that international football can actually be very good.

But every AFCON there is at least one lucky squad member who was called-up either as a late injury replacement, wildcard choice or because he’s the manager’s favourite.

Here’s a look at some of the most random players to have nabbed a Cup of Nations winners medal for Nigeria.

Isaac Semitoje

The Nigeria team that won it 27 years ago in Tunisia was a truly great side from front to back.

Peter Rufai between the sticks, Uche Okechukwu marshalling the backline, Sunday Oliseh and Jay Jay Okocha running hings in midfield and Rashidi Yekini up front – it’s no surprise they won it.

But you might have forgotten about defender Isaac Semitoje.

He made one appearances at the tournament and featured 21 times overall for Nigeria at international level.

The defender played for Udoji United, Bendel Insurance and Iwuanyanwu Nationale, but he’s always have that winners medal.

Obiorah Nwankwo

Nwankwo showed promises at the early stage of his career and was an important member of the Nigeria squad which took part at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. A lot was expected of him at the senior level.

He was picked for AFCON 2013 but didn’t play a game. But the winners medal is what he will cherish for life.

Edema Fuludu

This Nigeria side will go down as the greatest ever Super Eagles team with one AFCON triumph and Afro/Asian Cup success.

The whole philosphy was based on wing play. A certain player Edema Fuludu failed to feature at Tunisia 1994.

He won’t go down as a memorable figure in that great team but if anyone tries to rinse him he can just wave his medal in their face.

Victor Ikpeba

Victor Ikpeba was a non playing member of the Super Eagles team at AFCON 1994.

The former African Footballer of the Year winner is best remembered for his great spell at Monaco but found things rough during his journey to Dortmund and Real Betis.

Juwon Oshaniwa

Former Hearts defender Juwon Oshaniwa was called up by Nigeria on 30 March 2012. Since being called up by the national team, he appeared in FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

He was called up to Nigeria’s 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He played in the final, where he came on as a substitute for Elderson Echiéjilé in the 66th minute, in a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso. He is presently unattached.

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