The Bayern Munich wonderkid has become the latest player to turn his back on a future with the Super Eagles
- Bongarts#10 Dennis AogoCultured left-back who retired prematurely due to injury, Aogo was eligible for Nigeria via his father.However, he ultimately ended up turning out for Germany, having rejected the call of the Super Eagles in early 2010—six months before the World Cup in South Africa.He later turned out for Germany in May of that year, and by the time he called time on his career, he had amassed 12 caps.
- Getty#9 Ugo EhioguLate centre-back who passed away prematurely in 2017 following a heart attack at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground, where he was working as a coach.The defender enjoyed a distinguished playing career, notably with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, and amassed four caps for the Three Lions.
- Getty Images#8 Bukayo SakaThe latest Nigerian player to turn out for the Three Lions, Saka made his debut in the 2020 3-0 victory over Wales.The Arsenal wonderkid, who has been a rare ray of light for the Gunners during a difficult period, appears determined to make his mark with England and should represent the Three Lions at the European Championships later this year.
- Getty Images#7 Ross BarkleyUnderstood to be eligible for Nigeria due to his grandfather, Barkley represented England at multiple youth levels and always appeared primed to turn out for the Three Lions.He never truly realised his immense potential during spells with Everton and Chelsea, but has caught the eye for Aston Villa this season.
- Getty Images#6 Gabby AgbonlahorOne of the most contentious players on this list, Agbonlahor was courted by the Super Eagles, and remains the enduring example of someone who was ultimately spurned by the Three Lions, potentially regretting what might have been with Nigeria.He ended his international career with just three appearances—zero goals—and could have achieved so much more with the West Africans.
- LexisAgency#5 John SalakoThe only Nigeria-born player to play for England, Salako was born in Ibadan before moving to Kent as a youngster.He’s a Crystal Palace legend, making over 200 appearances for the Eagles, and was included in the club’s Centenary XI.The outside left made five England appearances—all in 1991.
- Getty Images#4 John FashanuTowering, powerful striker who was a cult hero with unfashionable Wimbledon during their halcyon days at the top of the English game.His international career, potentially due to the intense competition, was relatively brief, with two appearances a scant return for such a talented and unique frontman.Following his retirement, Fashanu expressed regret that he hadn’t turned out for the Super Eagles instead.”The fact is that I really wanted to play for Nigeria and I came home on three occasions but the coach said I was not good enough to make his team, and so never selected me except for one friendly match against China where I was an unused substitute,” Fashanu told Goal.“So, it was never my fault at all and it pained me so much that I never played for my country.”
- Getty#3 Dele AlliDele is enduring a tough time at Tottenham Hotspur at the moment, but he’s already demonstrated his quality in the Premier League, and played a key role in Spurs reaching the Champions League final in 2019.Once the Premier League’s Young Player of the Year, Alli helped England to a World Cup semi-final, but couldn’t he have achieved more with the Super Eagles…!?
- Emmanuel AdebayorDespite his origins in Osun State, Adebayor opted to turn out for Togo, helping them reach the World Cup in 2006.What could he have achieved if he’d opted for the Super Eagles? Surely, Ade would have been an African champion at the 2013 Nations Cup.He represented the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur during his club career, and was African Footballer of the Year in 2007.
- Getty#1 David AlabaComfortably Nigeria’s loss, Alaba was born in Vienna and went on to represent Austria rather than the Super Eagles.He was influential as his nation of birth reached the 2016 European Championships, and has enjoyed great success with Bayern Munich, with whom he is a nine-time Bundesliga champions.The versatile star is primed to move this summer, with Real Madrid looking the most likely destination.
Join our WhatsApp Group to receive news and other valuable information alerts on WhatsApp.