2019 marks the end of another decade, and during this period, Nigeria’s football has gone through highs and lows. During this period also, the country has been blessed with some numerous talents in the National team- some are retired, while some are still playing.
With this being said, here are Soccernet.ng top 10 Nigerian players the decade, but first let’s take a trip down memory lane, and see how Nigeria’s national team fared in this decade.
The start of the decade was 2010, and it was the year which saw Africa host the FIFA World Cup for the first time. Nigeria was one of the six African countries that represented the continent that year, but the Super Eagles disappointed as they failed to qualify from a group that included Argentina, South Korea and Greece.
Two years later, it got from bad to worse for Nigeria as they missed out on AFCON qualification in 2012, but they bounced back a year later by winning the tournament in 2013.
They backed up the feat in South Africa with a Round of 16 finish at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but the next three years were not particularly fruitful as they missed out on two consecutive AFCON tournaments.
However, they finished the decade on a high by qualifying for the 2018 World Cup with a game to spare, while they also won the Bronze medal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Having summarized what the decade has been like for the Super Eagles, Here is the list of the best Nigerian players this decade.
NB: This list is exclusively alone for players who played in the National team, so Golden Eaglets or Flying Eagles stars are not included.
Although he did not contribute much to the National team in this decade, Odemwingie was one of Nigeria’s best player in Europe in this period.
The former Stoke City striker was the first Nigerian to win the Premier League player of the month twice in the same season. The former Nigerian international moved to the Premier League in 2010 when he signed for West Brom. He was an instant success, scoring 15 league goals in his first season, and winning the Premier League player of the month twice.
While he did not reach the same heights the following season, he still managed double figures in his second season, scoring ten goals, and winning the Premier League player of February.
The goal dried up in his third campaign as he could only manage five goals in 37 appearances. He left the Baggies in 2014 to join Cardiff City on a six-month loan deal.
Following the completion of his loan deal with the Blue Birds, Odemwingie joined Stoke City in June of that year where he played for five seasons.
He announced his retirement from football this year but he was one of the most successful Nigerians to play in the Premier League.
At the international level, Odemwingie did not have much impact as he did in the previous decade, but he still represented the country at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.