Nigeria is a country that boasts of very successful athletes in various sports, not only in Africa but worldwide. The most notable sports are football, boxing, volleyball, basketball, track and field events. In the mentioned sports, some sportsmen and women have performed well and cannot go unnoticed. However, Nigeria has made a name in football more than the other sports. If you are a fan of soccer in major competitive leagues, you must be familiar with many Nigerian footballers doing well.
LIST OF MOST SUCCESSFUL NIGERIAN ATHLETES OF ALL TIME
Here are some of the most successful Nigerian athletes of all time:
JOHN OBI MIKEL
John Obi Mikel is a famous Nigerian football player. He started his football journey when he was 12 years old. As a 12-year-old, he was noticed when he played at a football tournament organized by Pepsi. Pepsi was on the lookout for young talent, and that’s where Obi Mikel emerged. He was fortunate to be picked among 3000 young people that took part in the competition. He started by playing for a local football club in Nigeria called the Plateau United.
At the age of 17 years, he was signed by Lyn in Norway in the year 2004. Because of his prowess in football, he was transferred to Chelsea F.C. He played for Chelsea for 11 years, where he made 350 appearances. While playing for Chelsea, he scored six goals. Punters on Betway are well aware of the impact Obi Mikel had on games.
In 2017, John Obi Mikel was transferred to Tianjin TEDA, which is a Chinese football club. In the two years that he was in Tianjin TEDA, he scored three goals in the 31 games he played. Later on, he went to Middlesbrough for a deal that did not last long. After Middlesbrough, he moved to Trabzonspor in July 2019 and in 2022 transferred to Stoke City FC of the EFL Championship. 14 years, he has played for Nigeria in 88 games and scored six goals for them.
Amusan is also known as Tobi. She is a Nigerian athlete that specializes in 100 meters hurdles. In 2013, she won her first silver medal at the African Youth championship. Amusan is celebrated for being the first Nigerian woman to ever win a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games held in Australia. She was the second female to win a medal in the 100 meters race.
Apart from representing her country, Nigeria, she is also a member of her college athletics team at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She is the leading champion of the American Collegiate 100 meters hurdles.
Chukwuebuka Enekwechi is a shot put athlete. He plays for the Nigerian national team. During the commonwealth games that were held in Australia in 2018, he was in the second position. He was also able to break his record. He is currently the reigning African champion in shot put.
In 2019, he won the African championships and also broke a record in the Nigerian National sports festival in the hammer throw and shot put as well. Apart from these achievements, he set a world record in the Grande Premio Brasil Caixa de Atletismo World Challenge. He was able to throw up to 21.77 meters.
Blessing Okagbare is also a successful athlete who has specialized in short sprints and long jump. She has won medals in both World and Olympic championships in the 200 meters race and long jumps. In the Commonwealth Games, she broke the African record for the 100 meters race by running in 10.85 seconds. In 2018, she ran at a speed of 22.04 seconds in the 200 meters race.
She has also won quite a number of medals in other championships; these include the IAAF Continental Cup, World relays, and the All-African games.
Jay-Jay Okocha is a former Nigerian football player who played as an attacking midfielder. He is famous for his unique technique, dribbling skills, and confidence. He played for several teams, including Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Paris Saint Germain, Borussia Neunkirchen, Bolton Wanderers, Hull City, and Qatar SC. He was also a fan favorite even for football bettors on Betway for his ability to influence the outcome of games, especially while playing for Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League.
He played for Nigeria as well in 75 International games, where he scored 14 goals. After retiring in 2008, he became an entrepreneur who owns several companies in Nigeria.