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Top 10 Nigerian Footballers who chose to play for other countries



Dele Alli

Top 10 Nigerian Footballers Playing For Other Country

Have you ever noticed in a football match when you hear commentators calling out familiar Nigeria names in a Non-Africa Match? I guess Yes.
Below is a list of 10 Nigerian Footballers playing for other countries.


David Olatukunbo Alaba was born on 24 June 1992. He is an Austrian professional footballer who plays for German club Bayern Munich and the Austrian national team.

David Alaba

David Alaba is a renowned world star defender (GettyImages)

As a very versatile player, Alaba has played in a multitude of roles, including central midfield, central defense, right, and left-wing, but primarily plays as a left-back.

He holds Austria’s record as the second-youngest player to play for their senior national team, debuting for them in 2009 as a 17-year-old.
Alaba has earned over 70 caps and represented the country at UEFA Euro 2016.
He has made over 350 appearances for Bayern Munich since 2010, winning 17 honours including eight Bundesliga titles and the UEFA Champions League in 2013.
He was voted Austrian Footballer of the Year six consecutive times from 2011 to 2015, and named in the UEFA Team of the Year three times.



Bamidele Jermaine Alli was born on 11 April 1996. He is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the England national team.

Dele Alli

Tottenham star Dele Alli was a big loss to the Nigerian national team (GettyImages)

Bamidele was Born and raised in Milton Keynes, he joined the youth system at Milton Keynes Dons at age 11 and broke into the first team five years later, during the 2012–13 season. Over the next two and half years, he made 88 official appearances for the team, scoring 24 goals.

He signed for Tottenham Hotspur in February 2015 for an initial fee of £5 million, being loaned back to the Dons for the remainder of the season. In each of his first two campaigns at White Hart Lane, Alli was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year and made the PFA Team of the Year.

Alli played for the England U17, U18 and U19 teams, before making his senior debut in 2015. He was selected for UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, helping England to the semi-finals of the latter.

Also Read:Top ten Most valuable Young players in the world under 20



Patrick Olaiya Olukayode Owomoyela was born on 5 November 1979 and a German footballer who played as a defender or midfielder.

Patrick Owomoyela

Patrick Owomoyela (GettyImages)

He previously played for Lüneburger SK, VfL Osnabrück, SC Paderborn 07, Arminia Bielefeld, SV Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund, and Hamburger SV II.

He has been capped by Germany at the international level and was a member of the squad at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup.



Angelo Ogbonna is a West Ham United defender, he was born to Nigerian parents who traveled to Italy from Nigeria in 1988.

Angelo Ogbonna

Angelo Ogbonna made the list of Top 10  Nigerian footballers that opted not to represent the Super Eagles.

Ogbonna made his debut for Italy in November 2011 in a friendly game against Poland where the Azurri won 2-0. He came on as a substitute. He was in the Italian 23-man final squad for UEFA Euro 2012 but never played in any match during the competition.
Ogbonna earned 10 caps and has finished a tournament with a silver medal.




Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor was born on 26 February 1984 and was a Togolese professional footballer who plays as a striker for Paraguayan Club Olimpia. He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2008 while playing at Arsenal.

Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor

Emmanuel Adebayor plays for the Togolese National team(GettyImages)

Adebayor represented the Togo national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, the country’s debut, and to date only, appearance at the World Cup. In January 2010, Adebayor was one of the players involved when the Togo team’s bus came under gunfire on the way to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, after which he retired from national team duty. In 2013, he returned to the Togo team for the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa, where he helped them to qualify for the quarter-finals. He is currently Togo’s all-time top goalscorer with 32 goals.




Emmanuel Sarki was born on 26 December 1987 in Kaduna state, Nigeria.
He is a Haitian international footballer who plays as a winger for Polish club Odra Wodzisław

Emmanuel Sarki

Emmanuel Sarki plays for Haitian national team(GettyImages)

Sarki was a member of the Nigerian national under-17 football team at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland and the 2003 African Under-17 Championship.
In 2007, he played for the Nigerian national under-20 football team at African U-20 Championship, where he scored two goals for the eventual runners up.
Emmanuel Sarki shocked Nigerian football fans when he switched to Haiti, the country of his maternal grandmother. Sarki was a junior international who represented at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2001 alongside Mikel Obi and Chinedu Obasi among others. Sarki claimed he was asked to part with some money before he could play for the Super Eagles.



Innocent Nkasiobi Emeghara was born on 27 May 1989 in Lagos state Nigeria and was a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a striker for Turkish club Fatih Karagümrük.

Innocent Emeghara

Emmanuel Emeghara in the colours of Switzerland (GettyImages)

Emeghara opted to represent Switzerland internationally, and he made his debut on 4 June 2011 by playing one minute in a 2–2 draw in England for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Still, in that year, he helped the under-21 team finish second at the 2011 UEFA European Championship, scoring in the 2–0 group stage win against Iceland. He represented the country at the 2012 Summer Olympics, netting in the 1–2 group phase defeat by South Korea. His Nigerian names, Nkasiobi means ‘Consolation’ while Emeghara means ‘Willingness To Let Go’.




Stephen Ademolu was born on November 20, 1982.
He is a Canadian soccer player who plays for ECSL side WSC Fury.

Stephen Ademolu

Stephen Ademolu (GettyImages)

Ademolu whose mother is Jamaican has six brothers and one sister. His twin brother O’Nicholas also played for the CSU Vikings. His cousin Michael Carter plays football for the Montreal Allouettes.

During his junior years, he was called up to the Canadian Olympic team for qualifiers.
He made his senior debut for Canada in November 2005 against Luxembourg. In January 2010, he was called for a friendly match against Jamaica in which he started.
Ademolu was called up to play against Argentina on May 24, 2010, before playing Venezuela a few days later.




Tiago Abiola Delfim Almeida Ilori was born on 26 February 1993. He is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a center-back for Sporting CP.

Tiago Iiori

Tiago Ilori in action for Sporting CP (GettyImages)

He started his career with Sporting, making his debut with the first team in 2011 before signing with Liverpool two years later. He spent three seasons in the English Championship with Reading after joining in January 2017, and also competed professionally in Spain and France.

Ilori earned 36 caps for Portugal at the youth level, including ten with the under-21 team.

Also check out:Top ten Most valuable Young players in the world under 20


Jordon Ashley Femi Ibe was born on 8 December 1995. He was an English professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder or winger for Premier League club AFC Bournemouth.

Jordan Ibe

Jordan Ibe at Bournemouth (GettyImages)

Ibe is eligible for Nigeria through his father. The Nigeria Football Federation confirmed in February 2015 that they were monitoring Ibe and would attempt to get him to switch his international allegiance. In August, Nigeria manager Sunday Oliseh made a personal appeal to Ibe in an attempt to convince him to switch allegiance, but a few weeks later, he confirmed that his international future lay with England.

After coming up through the youth system of Wycombe Wanderers, for whom he made his debut in the Football League as a 15-year-old, Ibe joined Liverpool in 2012. He spent time on loan at Championship clubs Birmingham City in the 2013–14 season and Derby County in 2014–15. In 2016, he signed for Bournemouth for a then club-record £15 million fee.

He has represented England from under-18 to under-21 level.

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