2016 has been a significant year for Nigeria football and its footballers, with Nigeria winning Bronze at the Olympics and the Super Falcons also winning the 2016 AWCON tournament.
soccerblitz.net has taken its time to name 8 Nigerian footballers who had a successful 2016 outing.
Here is the list below, read, enjoy and comment
8. PETER UTAKA
Peter Maduabuchi is a Nigerian footballer with a Belgian passport currently playing for Sanfrecce Hiroshima on loan from Japanese club Shimizu S-Pulse. He is the younger brother of John Utaka.
He won the highest goal scorer in the just concluded Japanese J-League becoming the second African after Patrick Mboma to become the highest goal scorer in the Japanese topflight and the only Nigerian to do so.
7. JOHN OGU
John Ogu helped his team Hapoel Be’er Sheva perform really well in Europe this season with a memorable 2-0 victory against 3 time European champions Inter Milan in the Europa League.
He also earned a re-call to the Super eagles squad after a year for his significant performance for his Isreali Premier League team, Hapoel Be’er Sheva
Just recently, John Ogu won the Toto Cup with Be’er Sheva.
7. GODWIN OBAJE
The 19 year old definitely deserves the number 7th spot for his heroic performance for Wikki Tourist in the 2016 NPFL season.
He scored 18 goals in the 2016 season to help Wikki Tourists to a third place finish and a spot in next year’s Confederation Cup.
Obaje’s impressive form in the domestic league led to an international call-up from Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr.
He was on the bench when Nigeria beat Zambia 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier in October.
He had a brief trial with Spartak Moscow but a deal was not materialized and later joined Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel
5. ASISAT OSHOALA
The only Female on the list and a deserving one, the superb striker helped Nigeria win a record 8th AWCON trophy and also had a decent season with Arsenal ladies.
She finished the Highest goal scorer at the AWCON 2016 and also won the FA cup with Arsenal Ladies to crown a successful 2016.
4. WILFRED NDIDI
His transfer at Leicester City is set to be sealed and signed in the coming days, this list would be incomplete with-out the inclusion of Wilfred Ndidi.
He 20-year old has become an integral part of Belgian side Genk this year making 30 appearances last season in the league. Ndidi was named third best player in the Belgian league for the 2015/2016 season. He has also made 6 appearnces for the super eagles. Lovers f the premier league will get to see more of Wilfred Ndidi at Leicester in 2017.
3. ALEX IWOBI
2016 has obviously been a great year for Alex Iwobi at just just 20 he his already a starter for his English club, Arsenal.
He has made over 20 appearances for Arsenal and scored 3 goals, a fair amount for a youngster playing from the flanks and sometimes through the middle.
He made his debut for the Nigeria National team lats year and has scored an international goal having previously played for England at junior levels.
2. KELECHI IHEANACHO
Iheanacho joined Manchester City’s Academy on 10 January 2014. Before the 2014–15 season, City visited the United States on a pre-season tour, and although still not formally a City player, he joined up with the squad.
He played and scored in the first match of the tour, a 4–1 win against Sporting Kansas City, and scored again against Milan in a 5–1 win. After the conclusion of the tour, Manchester City arranged for Iheanacho to train with the Columbus Crew until mid-October.
Iheanacho has made 12 appearances for the citizens this season scoring four times, he also made 3 champions league appearances scoring 2 goals, all in 2016.
He is named the most prolific striker in the world ahead of teammate Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi and current World best player, Cristiano Ronaldo.
He has been capped by Nigeria 7 times scoring 4 goals in the process, including a goal against Zambia in a World cup qualifier match.
1. VICTOR MOSES
No doubt the man of the moment, he has always been the journey man for the blues having spend most of his time with Chelsea on loan.
Upon the arrival of Antonio Conte, there was a widely spread rumour that Moses’ time is finally over at the Stamford Bridge, but it turns out that he actually became an integral part of the Italian’s 3-4-3 formation.
He has made 16 appearances for Chelsea this term, 14 from the league scoring 3 goals and 2 in the league cup scoring a goal.
He also earned a re-call to the Super Eagles, He was the hero when the Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated Algeria last November in the 2018 world cup qualifiers.
Other notable names that should have made the list are Henry Onyekuru and Oghenekaro Etebo.