Nigeria is the joint top African participant at the World Cup, tied on six (6) appearances with Morocco. With more than half of its 200 million population under the age of 40, Nigeria is one of the continent’s footballing powerhouse.
However, the country failed to qualify for the 2022 edition of the World Cup in Qatar, falling to the Black Stars of Ghana in the last qualifying round.
In the absence of the Super Eagles, some players with ties to Nigeria are representing their countries at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar.
Here is a list of players with Nigerian parents representing their adopted country (by birth or naturalization) at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
- Bukayo Saka (England): Arsenal youngster and Three Lions of England attacker Bukayo Saka is one of the players hoping to power England to their 2nd World Cup win. Bukayo Saka was born in London to Nigerian parents. He has made 22 appearances for the Three Lions and already scored a brace against Iran in the opening match of their group.
- Jamal Musiała (Germany): Germany and Bayern Munchen starlet, Jamal Musiala’s tie to Nigeria can be traced back to his father. He was born in Germany to a Nigerian father and a German mother but was raised in England from the age of seven. Musiala played for Germany and England at the youth level and was approached by former Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr to play for Nigeria before eventually pledging his allegiance to Germany.
- Kareem Adeyemi (Germany): Another player with ties to Nigeria on the German team is Kareem Adeyemi. He was born in Munich, Germany, to a Nigerian father and a Romanian mother. The Dortmund youngster has represented Germany at the youth level and is part of the senior team representing the country in Qatar.
- Manuel Akanji (Switzerland): Switzerland and Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji is another Naija connection to look out for in the World Cup. He was born in Neftenbach, Switzerland, to a Nigerian father and a Swiss mother, but he has chosen to represent the Red Crosses.
- Noah Okafor (Switzerland): Like the Germans, there are two players on the Switzerland team with ties to Nigeria. The other one is Noah Okafor. The RB Salzburg forward was born in Binningen, Switzerland to a Nigerian father of Igbo descent and a Swiss mother.
- Ike Ugbo (Canada): One of two Canadians with ties to Nigeria, Ike Ugbo was born in London to a Nigerian father and raised in Canada before returning to the UK. The former Chelsea academy star played at the youth level for England before switching allegiance to Canada. According to him, his father wanted him to play for the Super Eagles of Nigeria but he chose Canada instead.
- Samuel Adekugbe (Canada): Samuel Adekugbe was born in London to parents of Nigerian descent. He lived in the UK for 10 years before his parents moved to Canada. The left-back is part of Canada’s team in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. This is the country’s first World Cup since its only appearance in 1986.