It’s been hard watching Super Eagles free fall from the lofty heights of FIFA Rankings, but Nigeria fans aren’t worried anymore about John Mikel Obi, Osaze Odenwingie, Ikechukwu Uche and other fading away stars. Apparently, they’ve turned their interest towards the next generation of players with so much excitement.
The future is Bright! If you’ve been following, you would have noticed right away, especially with some rising stars, both men and women, posting outstanding performances in the field of play across the world.
Here, we will introduce to you top 10 Nigeria’s rising stars as compiled by GreenHunters Sports International. Of course, we perceive you may have your own favorite new player on the block whose profile is rising, but isn’t included on this list. Let us know about the player – post a comment below.
Asisat Oshoala is indeed, the most celebrated Nigerian footballer in the recent time. As I write now, she has been nominated for the inaugural BBC Women’s Footballer of the year award.
Oshoala is currently CAF African Women’s footballer of the year; she won the most valuable player (MVP) at the CAF African women Championship in 2014; she won the Golden Boot as well as the Golden ball at FIFA U20 World cup in Canada 2014.
The former Rivers Angel midfielder signed for Liverpool Ladies in January 2015 and has already scored 4 goals and 8 assists in the ongoing English Super League.
Watch out for Oshoala at FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada this June.
Odion Jude Ighalo: 25 years of age is perhaps the hottest striker making waves at English Championship league with Watford. He has scored 20 goals in 33 appearances in the current 2014/15 season. He could become the new rave for the super Eagles emerging team.
Ighalo isn’t that new anyway, he’s been around for a while. He once played for prlme, Julius Berger in Nigeria; then moved over to Lyn Oslo, Udineze in Seria A, and Granada in La Liga. But right now he’s on top of game at Watford.
Watch out for Ighalo, as Stephen Keshi assembles the new national team.
Taiwo Awoniyi is become a house hold name in Nigeria, especially this year. He has scored 11 goals in 15 appearances for both Nigeria’s U20 and U23 national teams.
Awoniyi won both the MVP and the highest goal scorer Award at the Super 6 tourney in February. He was also the second highest goal scorer at CAF African U20 Championship in Senegal. He recently rescued the U23 national team in Lusaka, scoring a brace, enough to qualify Nigeria’s dream team for All African games.
17 years of age, Awoniyi was first discovered while at Imperial Academy Lagos and was transferred to Kalmar FF in Sweden, after his outstanding performance at FIFA U16 World Cup in 2013.
Watch out for Awoniyi at FIFA U20 World cup in New Zealand this May.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 17 years of age, won MVP as well as the second highest goal scorer at FIFA U16 World Cup in Dubai 2013. Iheanacho now plays for Manchester City Youth team and has scored 12 goals in 23 appearances for the team.
The magnificent play maker scored at the English Youth FA Cup finals. With his most outstanding performances so far, Iheanacho is most likely to be drafted into the main team next season.
Watch out for Iheanacho at FIFA U20 World cup in New Zealand this May.
Muhammed Musa: The power playing captain of the Flying Eagles; Musa is the first defender to win the Golden Boot (Highest goal scorer award) at CAF African U20 Championship in Senegal.
Musa’s fitness and horse power is so incredible it could immediately attract interest of any coach in the world. Indeed, he got the attention of FIFA’s President, Sepp Blatter at the U16 World Cup in 2013.
Recently, some sport media has reported stories linking Musa to replace Danny Alves, incidentally his idol, at FC Barcelona next summer.
Watch out for Musa at FIFA U20 World cup in New Zealand this may.