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Top 10 most capped Super Eagles players of all-time

Top 10 most capped Super Eagles players of all-time

This is the same for Nigerian players. Since the country played its first official set of games against clubs in England before independence, several players have gone on to represent the country.

From Teslim Balogun to Segun Odegbami, The Super Eagles have been blessed with so many players. However, while playing for one’s country is an honour, it’s a bigger honour to represent your country multiple times.

For that reason, Pulse Sports Nigeria takes a look at the top ten players with the highest number of appearances for the Super Eagles.

The late Stephen Keshi is the Super Eagles’ tenth all-time most capped Super Eagles player with 64 caps. Keshi, aka The Big Boss, was one of the most influential players and captains in Nigerian football history.

He made his Super Eagles bow in 1981 and went on to play till 1995. Keshi was part of Nigeria’s 1994 golden generation, although he did not play much.

The ex-Anderlecht defender also managed Nigeria, leading the team to AFCON glory in 2013. The big boss sadly passed away in 2016.

The only player with a dual-nationality is the ninth-most capped Super Eagles player of all time. Born in Uzbekistan to a Nigerian father and a Russian mother, Odemwingie was eligible to play for Russia but chose to play for Nigeria.

He made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2002 against Kenya before going on to make 64 more appearances.

In his 65 games for Nigeria, Odemwingie stood out many times, notably against Angola (AFCON 2004 qualifier), South Africa (AFCON 2004), Tunisia (2010 World Cup qualifier) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014 World Cup).

In eighth place is one of Super Eagles’ greatest goalkeepers, Peter Rufai. Rufai had a 15-year career with Nigeria after making his debut in the Nigerian football in the 1980s. Like Odemwingie, he also won 65 caps for the Super Eagles and represented the team at several major tournaments.

Rufai was part of the golden generation that won AFCON in 1994 and reached the second round of the 1994 World Cup, which was Nigeria’s debut. He called time on his Super Eagles career after the 1998 World Cup.

In seventh place is arguably the most talented on the list, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha. Okocha made 74 appearances for the Super Eagles, and in each of these games, he entertained fans with his unique skills.

Okocha was a fan favourite and one of Super Eagles’ most beloved players. He was known for his dribbling skills, trickery and set-piece quality.

The ex-Bolton man scored some great goals for Nigeria, including two against Cameroon at AFCON 2000 and 2004, respectively. He retired from Super Eagles duty in 2006.

Nwankwo Kanu and Mudashiru Lawal sit in fifth and sixth place after they both made 86 appearances for the Super Eagles.

Muda Lawal is the only player on the list that made his debut in the 1970s. One of Nigeria’s most gifted players, Lawal scored 12 goals for Nigeria, helping the country win its first AFCON title in 1980. He played his last game for the Super Eagles in 1985 but sadly lost his life six years later.

Meanwhile, Kanu was also one of Nigeria’s finest players. He is arguably Nigeria’s most successful player at the club level. Kanu made his debut for the Super Eagles in 1994 and continued playing until 2010.

His most iconic moment was helping Nigeria win the gold medal in the men’s football event of the Atlanta ’96 Olympics. However, despite his heroics, Kanu never won a title with the Super Eagles.

Ex-Chelsea man John Obi Mikel is Super Eagles’ third all-time appearance maker with 91 appearances. Mikel started his Nigeria career with the U17 team before making the grade to the U20 team.

He made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2005 before representing the team at AFCON 2006. Mikel’s finest moment came in 2013 when Nigeria won the AFCON in South Africa.

He retired from Super Eagles duty after AFCON 2019.

Joseph Yobo and Vincent Enyeama are joint-second after they both won 101 caps with the Super Eagles. Yobo was the first player to reach a century of appearances for Nigeria, having made his debut in 2002. The ex-Everton man was one of Nigeria’s most reliable and consistent players during a career that spanned 12 years.

He was part of the team that won AFCON 2013, although he was on the bench. Yobo retired from international duty after the 2014 World Cup.

Meanwhile, Enyeama also made his Super Eagles debut the same year as Yobo. He was in the Nigeria squad that played at the 2002 World Cup, making an appearance against England.

While Yobo was the official captain, Enyeama was the on-field captain during Nigeria’s run to victory at AFCON 2013. The ex-Lille man is arguably Nigeria’s greatest goalkeeper of all time, but his international career ended in controversial circumstances after falling out with the then Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh.

Sitting pretty at the top is none other than Ahmed Musa, with 107 appearances for the Super Eagles. Musa has been a wonderful servant for Nigerian football since making his debut for the Super Eagles as a 17-year-old in 2010.

A veteran of two World Cups, Musa is Nigeria’s highest goalscorer in football’s biggest competition with four goals.

He was also part of the Super Eagles team that won the AFCON in 2013. Now 29 and the team’s captain, Musa has shown no signs of drawing the curtains down on his Super Eagles career.

With 107 appearances and still counting, it will take a monumental effort from another player to eclipse Musa’s record.

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