It's amazing that Nigeria has the highest number of foreign football players in Malta.
Take a look at the List of Nigerian Footballers that is ever played in Malta: Olomuyiwa Agonun, Murphy Akanji, Akanji Sunday Wasiu, Mihaba Ageheme, Ibrahim Babatunde, Haruna Babangida, Ndubuishi Chukwunyere, Haruna Dodi, Anthony Evi Parker, Sunday Eboh, Alfred Effiong, Augustine Eguavoven, Anthony Ewurum, Precious Monye, Essien Mbong, Benneth Njoku, Chidozie Nwankwo, Jeremiah Ani, Daniel Nwoke, Emeka Ochei, Uwa Ogbodo, Joseph Okonkwo, Chris Oreten, Frank Temile, Omonigho Temile, Edafe Uzeh.
As write, many more players back in Nigeria are itching to travel to this island county to start or continue their football career.
What's this about Malta anyway?
Some business tycoons find it easier to trafficker players to Malta - that's it. Dozens of Nigerian footballers pay huge sum of money to these agents without much information about football business in Malta. So they travel to this European county to meet the unexpected.
Although, Malta only has a population of about 300.000, it is one of the oldest FIFA members and every year Maltese clubs play in the European championships. So, Maltese clubs are always looking for top international players.
Sadly most players are amateurs or hobby players. Not many can earn a living by playing football. Even top international players only earn up to a maximum of 1200 € per month plus a merger amount as bonus for the country's premier league clubs.
There are also strict limits on the number of foreign players allowed per team. Really? I guess UEFA pretends to ignore this is happening... after the Bosman Ruling you cannot limit the number of EU players anywhere in the EU. But for African players who can't get into any of the Premier league clubs because of the restrictions, may have no other option but to go to the amateur clubs.
The thing is amateur team do not pay their players. Perhaps, few allowances when a player is participating in Gozo five-aside tournament for any of the top teams.
Unless you are thinking of taking a second jobs while playing for an amateur team. Again, it will be difficult if not impossible to get a work permit in Malta as a TCN unless you have some really good qualifications in IT, finance, accounting and speak several foreign languages.
Malta may not be the right country to start your career. Rather, it is the easiest place to kill your football talent, because you are most likely to lose top form after playing for a while in their premier league.
The standard is quite low and it will be difficult for top flight teams in Europe to come asking for your services. Your transfer market value will worth next to nothing.
No player from Malta ever became regular player in the Nigerian national team. Apart from Ndubushi "Wowo" Chukunyere and Essien "Papa" Mbong who got a cap each for the Super Eagles, or Austin Eguavoven, Murphy Akanji and Precious Munye who were already national team players before they came; coaches have utterly ignored other pros from this region.
Indeed, many Nigerian players had to commit their international future to Maltese national team. The likes of Chucks Nwoko, Udochukwu Nwoko, Orosco Anonam, Ifeanyi Okonkwo, Chris Okoh and Alfred Effiong have represented Malta at the senior level,