As 2018 gradually comes to an end, Soccernet.ng‘s Augustine Akhilomen picks the top 10 players that made the year a memorable one.
1. Ahmed Musa
2018 will be an unforgettable year for Super Eagles winger, Ahmed Musa going by his huge performance at the FIFA World Cup in Russia. The former Leicester City star’s brilliant goal against Iceland in Nigeria’s 2-1 win was nominated for one of the best goal at the tournament by FIFA.
Musa, who plies his football trade with Saudi Arabian team Al-Nassir, has made tremendous progress with his new team and has contributed massively to the qualification of the Super Eagles for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
2. Odion Ighalo
Despite emerging as Nigeria’s top scorer at the qualifying stages of the World Cup, Odion Ighalo had a poor outing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he was guilty for not converting some of the chances he had against Argentina in Nigeria’s last group B fixture.
However, he was able to redeem his image in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Libya as he scored his first hattrick in the colours of the Super Eagles before grabbing a brace in the reverse fixture against the same team.
In all, 2018 will be a year to remember both for th wrong and right reasons, knowing fully that Ighalo could not save his Chinese club, Changchun Yatai F.C. from relegation this season.
3. Alex Iwobi
One of the few players in the Super Eagles squad that has managed to pin down a regular shirt in the
Be that as it may, Iwobi’s commitment and dedication in the colours of the senior national team has always been unquestionable. He also played a crucial part in ensuring that Nigeria
4. Wilfred Ndidi
Another player who is currently playing regularly in the English Premier League for Leicester City, Wilfred Ndidi has always marshalled the Super Eagles defensive midfield with great zeal and composure and was instrumental in Nigeria’s qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
2018 wasn’t a bad year for the former Nath Boys Academy as he featured in all the group games the team played at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
5. Samuel Kalu
One of the few players that got the attention of Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr while playing for Bordeaux in the French League 1, Samuel Kalu has indeed fill into the shoes of Victor Moses, who announced his resignation from the senior national team after the World Cup.
Kalu, who has been
6. William Troost-Ekong
The other half of the ‘Oyinbo wall’ that made the Super Eagles defence watertight during the qualifying series for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations where Nigeria qualified as the third team, William Troost-Ekong has become an integral part of the Super Eagles since his first debut against Chad in 2015.
Currently playing for Udinese in the Italian Serie A, Troost-Ekong’s 2018 performance has really been worth celebrating considering the fact that he had an unforgettable display at the World Cup even though the team crashed out in the group stages. However, he scored his first senior national team goal against DR Congo in an international friendly early this year.
7. Leon Balogun
William Troost-Ekong defensive partner in the Super Eagles, Leon Balogun had a blissful year most especially scoring his first goal for his Premier L
Balogun, who featured at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia also played a crucial part in Nigeria’s qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
8. Oghenekaro Etebo
Etebo most notably came to prominence at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he hit four goals as the Dream Team claimed a surprise bronze medal. He also played a crucial part in the Super Eagles midfield with his robust style of play like former Nigerian player, Daniel ‘De Bull’ Amokachi.
Etebo started all three of Nigeria’s group matches which saw the team beat Iceland but lose to Argentina and Croatia which meant that they failed to progress to the knock-out stages.
9. John Ogu
He may not be regular in the Super Eagles starting eleven, however, the few times that he has featured for the team he has always been impressive. John Ogu scored one of the winning goals for Hapoel
Besides, he was also part of the Super Eagles squad at the 2018 World Cup where Nigeria crashed out in the group stages of the competition.
10. You decide
Yes, you decide who the tenth player should be! Drop a comment below and let us know who you think should be the tenth player on this list.