The group stage of the UEFA Champions League has been concluded with traditional giants like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and PSG all progressing to the knockout stages.
Nigerian players in Europe’s biggest club competitions experienced contrasting fortunes. While Mikel Obi’s Chelsea continued their continental sojourn despite their Premier League woes and Alex Iwobi’s Arsenal masterminded the great escape, Igiebor and Ahmed Musa both crashed out with Macabi Tel Aviv and CSKA Moscow respectively.
Soccernet Nigeria highlights the 5 Nigerian players with the most appearances in the Champions League.
Julius Aghahowa, 26games
The former Shakhtar Donetsk talisman terrorized European defences for half a decade during which time he amassed 26 caps. He would later move on to Wigan and thus waved goodbye to European football.
Taiye Taiwo, 35 games
The former Lobi stars full-back had repeatedly shown his dependability and reliability in the Champions League with Marseille before making the switch to AC Milan on a free transfer. Taiwo later wore the colours of Dynamo Kiev en route chalking up his 35 appearances.
Obafemi Martins, 36games
The once notorious ‘weapon of mass destruction’ racked up 36 games playing for Inter Milan, Wolfsburg and Rubin Kazan. However, he never got to the latter stages of the competition, much less win it with any of the sides.
John Obi Mikel, 56games
Still just 28 years old, the Nigerian midfielder has seen it all in Europe: he has won the Champions League, the Europa League and has been an important part of Chelsea’s success in the best part of the last decade.
Nwankwo Kanu, 60games
The legendary former Arsenal striker holds the record for the Nigerian with the most appearances in Europe’s most lucrative club competitions. After winning the U-17 World Cup with the Golden Eaglets in 1993, Kanu had his first taste of European football with Ajax with whom he won the Champions league title in 1995.