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3 Footballers with Nigerian roots you probably didn’t know

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Footballers with Nigerian roots
3 Footballers with Nigerian roots you probably didn't know. Photo/
  • There are several famous footballers with Nigerian roots that are playing for other nations at international level
  • While some of  them ignored invitations to play for the Super Eagles, others have never been called
  • Solanke was born on 14 September 1997, in Reading, England, to a Nigerian father and an English mother

There are several famous footballers with Nigerian roots that are playing for other nations at international level. Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which led to them missing out on more players who would be wearing the green and white jersey now. These players could have been very crucial in their campaign for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations which ended in defeat against hosts Ivory Coast in the final.

Nevertheless, Nigeria losing their players to other top footballing nations is not a strange occurrence as it has been happening over the years. Today, we are going to take a look at footballers with Nigerian roots you probably didn’t know. The list does not include the likes of Bukayo Saka, Tammy Abraham and Eberechi Eze because almost every fan knows they have roots in the West African country.

1. David Alaba

David Alaba

David Alaba. Photo/ Planet Sport.

Starting our list of footballers with Nigerian roots and your probably didn’t know is David Alaba. He was born on 24 June 1992, in Vienna, Austria, to George and Gina Alaba. His father, George, is from Nigeria and has been a rapper and a DJ for so many years. According to sources, George is a a prince from Ogere.

With such a strong connection to Nigeria, David Alaba would have played for the Super Eagles. However, he opted to represent the Austria national team, which he currently captains. Since making his debut in 2009, he has earned over 100 caps with Austria.

The 31-year-old is one of the best defenders of his generation and has achieved great success playing for top clubs such as Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Some of the trophies he has won over the years include ten Bundesliga titles and three UEFA Champions League trophies. His achievements over the years is amazing.

3. Dominic Solanke 

Dominic Solanke has emerged as one of the finest strikers in the English Premier League this season. His goalscoring prowess at Bournemouth has led to him getting the attention of top clubs in England and Europe at large as well as being loved by many football fans.

Well, what many people don’t know is that the 26-year-old, who has previously had spells at Chelsea and Liverpool, is one of the footballers with Nigerian roots. Solanke was born on 14 September 1997, in Reading, England, to a Nigerian father and an English mother. It is reported that Solanke’s father is of Yoruba ethnicity even though little info is available about him.

Dominic Solanke

Dominic Solanke. Photo/ Optus Sport.

Dominic Solanke played for England at various youth levels and earned his solo cap as a senior back in 2017 during a friendly match against Brazil. According to FIFA rules, he is eligible to play for Nigeria since he is yet to play a competitive game for England. However, the Bournemouth forward has never been contacted by Nigeria to play for the Super Eagles at any event.

“It’s England for me in the future, but it starts with my form at my club. I know a lot has been said about playing for Nigeria, but no one has contacted me about it. Maybe they will in the future.” Dominic Solanke said in an interview, as per Pulse Sports Nigeria.

3. Manuel Akanji 

Manuel Akanji is undoubtedly one of the best defenders in the world right now. The Manchester City star, who comes from a family with strong ties in sports as his siblings are also professional athletes, was born in Neftenbach, Switzerland, to a Nigerian father and a Swiss mother. He would have been an ideal addition to the Super Eagles squad because of his father being a Nigerian but he opted to play for the Switzerland national team.

Manuel Akanji

Manchester city defender Manuel Akanji is one of the footballers with Nigerian roots who are playing for other national teams. Photo/

Akanji has been representing Switzerland since 2017 and has so far made 58 appearances. He played for Switzerland U-20 and U-21 before being handed his first start in the senior team.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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