It’s not strange to see at least one Nigerian in every country of the world.
Nigerians have represented many countries that would never have been imaginable. At the 2002 World Cup, Emmanuel Olisadebe starred for Poland to the surprise of many.
David Alaba is probably the biggest footballer ever in the history of Austrian football and Nigerians have been seen representing nations like Hong Kong and Haiti. The rare relentlessness and desire to succeed ensures Nigerians are found everywhere in the world.
Sometime in 2021, reports broke out that a Korean player of Nigerian ancestry had been found in Real Madrid. Marvin Akinlabi Olawale Park was born in Mallorca to a Nigerian father and a Korean mother. It was strange seeing an extension of Nigeria’s reach to Korea but just when you think Nigerians are limited, a new jewel has been found.
Joel Chima Fujita, 20 is a midfielder in the J-League. He is currently on the books of Yokohama F. Marinos and represents the Japanese U-23.
He was born in Japan to a Nigerian father and a Japanese mother. His physical appearance has a strong blend of both features with a stocky frame known for Japanese athletes and the typical African strength and stamina.
Fujita featured in the 2019 U-17 World Cup and was likened to Jayjay Okocha at the time by a Nigerian official who saw him play.
Francis Achi, the Golden Eaglets’ Media Officer at the time was in awe of the midfielder’s display and expressed doubts as to the possibilities of him featuring for the Super Eagles.
“All the Japanese play went through Chima who shone like a million stars. All the first balls went to him and whenever the players found it hard to penetrate the Eaglets’ defence line, they went back to Chima who always found a way past our defence. He is that good and a replica of the great Jay Jay, ” he said at the time.
Fujita has risen since then, and has featured more prominently in the Asian giant’s biggest league division.
Owing to his strong Japanese upbringing and development, it’s almost totally impossible that he will ever wear the Nigerian jersey but has creative instincts that could have been essential to the team’s development.