Nigeria boasts a rich history of footballing talent, with several prolific goal-scorers leaving their mark on the national team.
From Rashidi Yekini to Obafemi Martins, these players have earned their place in the annals of Nigerian football history.
Following an impressive performance in Super Eagles’ final Africa Cup of Nations qualification tie against Sao Tome and Principe, Victor Osimen wrote his name in the history book.
Here, Soccernet.ng explores Nigeria’s leading goal scorers of all time and highlights the impressive rise of Victor Osimhen, who currently ranks as the fourth-highest goal-scorer.
1. Rashidi Yekini (37 goals):
Rashidi Yekini stands tall as Nigeria’s all-time leading goal scorer, with a remarkable record of 37 goals in 62 appearances. His illustrious career spanned from 1984 to 1998, and he played a pivotal role in Nigeria’s triumph at the 1994 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) where he scored five goals to finish as the Golden Boot winner in the tournament.
Yekini, born in Kaduna, notably played for clubs at home and abroad—like Olympiacos, Shooting Stars, Zurich and a host of others—In 2005, the Nigerian legend ended his career with Gateway United FC.
2. Segun Odegbami (23 goals):
Segun Odegbami, the second-highest goal scorer, found the back of the net 23 times in 46 appearances for Nigeria. He was a key figure in Nigeria’s 1980 AFCON victory and concluded his career in 1984.
3. Yakubu Aiyegbeni (21 goals):
Yakubu Aiyegbeni embarked on a successful career in English football, playing for clubs like Portsmouth, Everton, and Blackburn Rovers. On the international stage, he earned 57 caps and scored 21 goals. Yakubu featured for Nigeria in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
4. Victor Osimhen (20 goals and counting):
Victor Osimhen’s rapid ascent in Nigerian football continues to captivate fans. With his recent hat-trick against Sao Tome, Osimhen’s goal tally has reached an impressive 20 goals in 26 appearances, positioning him as the fourth-highest goal scorer for Nigeria.
Osimhen is Nigeria’s joint-fourth leading scorer of all time, equals Ikechukwu Uche’s mark. ⚽️⚽️
African Player of the Year loading❤️ pic.twitter.com/nSDjvx1Eyc
— Shina Oludare 🇳🇬 (@sportingshina) September 10, 2023
His exceptional scoring prowess has solidified his place among Nigeria’s footballing elite.
5. Ikechukwu Uche (19 goals):
Ikechukwu Uche, a Nigerian football player with a successful career in Spain, represented Nigeria on 46 occasions and scored 19 goals. He featured for clubs like Villarreal, Real Zaragoza, and Malaga.
Uche’s proficiency in finding the net made him a valuable asset, particularly in qualifying competitions for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the World Cup.
6. Obafemi Martins (18 goals):
Obafemi Martins made headlines with his move to Newcastle United in 2006. He registered 18 goals in 48 appearances for Nigeria. Martins retired from professional football in 2021.
7. Sunday Oyarekhua (17 goals):
Sunday Oyarekhua, known for his prolific goal-scoring ability, contributed 17 goals in 28 appearances for Nigeria. He gained fame for his winning goal against Brazil in 1974. Sadly, Oyarekhua passed away in 2021.
8. Samson Siasia (16 goals):
Samson Siasia’s name finds a place among Nigeria’s top goal scorers with a total of 16 goals for the national team. His contributions added to the rich history of Nigerian football.
9. Odion Ighalo (16 goals):
Odion Ighalo, a prolific striker, scored 16 goals in his international career for Nigeria. He made significant contributions to the Super Eagles during his time with the team.
10. Ahmed Musa (16 goals):
Ahmed Musa, known for his pace and scoring ability, also recorded 16 goals for Nigeria. Musa’s memorable performances include his brace against Argentina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Nigeria’s footballing heritage is defined by its exceptional goal scorers, and Osimhen is the latest addition to this illustrious list.