Ross Barkley, David Alaba Among 7 Nigerians Who Chose Euro Nations Over Super Eagles

Ross Barkley, David Alaba Among 7 Nigerians Who Chose Euro Nations Over Super Eagles

Isaac Darko
June 14, 2023 at 10:20 AM
  • Nigeria has convinced some foreign-born stars to naturalise and play for the Super Eagles
  • But other Nigerian-born footballers chose not to represent the African champions
  • Sports Brief highlights the top Nigerian players who represented other countries, including Jamal Musiala

Although Nigeria is a football nation, and would love to have the very best players for all tournaments, some have slipped by in recent years.

With migration common these days, it is easy for people to hold two nationalities.

Nigeria has been fortunate to have some footballers born abroad naturalise and choose to play for the Super Eagles.

Ross Barkley, Bukayo Saka, David Alaba
Here are the Nigerian footballers who chose to play for other countries over the Super Eagles. Credit: @brfootball
Source: Twitter

The likes of Ademola Lookman, Joe Aribo, and William Troost-Ekong are just a few of the players who were born abroad but chose to represent Nigeria, Daily Post Nigeria reported.

However, many more footballers of Nigerian descent have rejected the call to play for the West African country.

Sports Brief looks at seven players of Nigerian descent who chose to play for Euro nations:

Jamal Musiala

Musiala is of Nigerian descent but represents Germany at the international level, Goal reported.

The former Chelsea Academy star was born to a British-Nigerian father in Stuggart and has a German mother.

At the senior level, he chose his mother's country above both England and Nigeria after moving to England when he was seven.

According to ex-Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, Nigeria tried to persuade the 19-year-old to play for the Super Eagles in 2020.

Musiala chose Die Mannschaft over Nigeria, joining several others who did the same. In March 2021, he made his debut for Germany. Since then, he has been capped 20 times, scoring one goal.

David Alaba

David Alaba is one of the most well-liked footballers on this list.

The Austrian international is considered one of the best and most versatile defenders of this generation. He is a three-time Champions League winner and an established defender in the game.

After winning the Bundesliga on ten occasions with Bayern Munich, Alaba left the Bavarians to sign for Real Madrid in the summer of 2021.

Despite his accomplishments, it might anger Nigerians to learn that Alaba's father is a Yoruba Nigerian from Ogere. He was also a rapper and worked as a DJ.

Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley has seen ups and downs since making a breakthrough during his early Premier League days with Everton.

He was previously viewed as a future global superstar, but expectations were lowered due to repeated injury issues and a decline in performance over time.

Barkley is searching for another place to call home after being released by Nice, just a year after having his contract terminated at Chelsea.

Apart from his football career, very few people know that Barkley is actually a Nigerian by birth.

He was born to an English mother and a Nigerian father, but out of reported resentment at his father for divorcing his mother when he was a kid, he decided to use his mother's maiden name and play for the Three Lions.

Dele Alli

Dele Alli is another player of Nigerian descent who chose to play for a Euro nation. The attacking midfielder represents England at international level.

Alli was born to a Nigerian father and an English mother in the city of Milton Keynes. His breakthrough came with Milton Keynes Dons, before he secured a move to Tottenham Hotspur. He is currently at Besiktas in Turkey.

The 27-year-old still clearly has many years ahead of him, but a fallout with coaches, family, and his infamous 'makeout' tape have not done much to propel his career as many would have expected.

Not only is Alli a Nigerian, he also spent a couple of years of his basic education in Nigeria.

However, he relocated to England after his basic education, settled in, and chose to represent the Three Lions when he had to pledge allegiance.

Tammy Abraham

The names Oghenetga and Tamaraebi clearly show that the AS Roma striker hails from the Nigerian region of the Niger Delta.

However, it is unsurprising that the ex-Chelsea forward pledged his allegiance to England.

Although many Nigerians were disappointed by the decision, it was somewhat reasonable given that the 22-year-old had spent his whole life in England and his friends and relatives were also residents of the country.

Abraham's decision to play for the Three Lions was not easy, and he did try to stall his decision for as long as he could.

Bukayo Saka

The Arsenal youngster made his debut two seasons ago and has since developed into one of Arsenal's essential players under the tutelage of Mikel Arteta.

The 21-year-old, whose parents are from Nigeria, was eligible to play for the Super Eagles but opted to join the Three Lions instead.

Since making his debut for Gareth Southgate’s side in 2020, Saka has featured 26 times for the 1966 World Cup winners, scoring eight goals in the process.

Fikayo Tomori

Tomori came into the limelight in 2019 after being given the nod by Chelsea coach, Frank Lampard and was very impressive.

The AC Milan defender soon chose England as his national team, to the ire and frustration of Nigerian fans.

Tomori still has a lot of game time ahead of him, and hopefully, he will impress with time.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Editor- La Liga I Bundesliga I French Ligue
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