7 players of Nigerian origin will feature for other countries at the 2022 FIFA World in Qatar. The most notable is Bukayo Saka.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will miss the presence of some big nations, who failed to qualify. Among these countries is Nigeria.
In one of its most epic moments of failure, the Super Eagles embarrassingly lost out on the 2022 World Cup qualification to Ghana.
Despite the absence of Nigeria, the following 7 players of Nigerian origin will be on parade in Qatar.
Bukayo Saka (England)
Bukayo Ayoyinka Saka was born in Ealing, Greater London to Yoruba parents (Adenike and Yomi Saka) on the 5th of September 2001.
His parents moved to London from Nigeria as economic migrants.
His name “Bukayo” originates from the Yoruba language spoken in southern Nigeria and means “adds to happiness”.
Saka opted to represent his country of birth, England, at international level and passed through the various national youth sides.
He made his senior debut for England in October 2020.
He was part of the English team that reached the final of Euro 2020 and missed the penalty that cost the nation.
Bukayo Saka was named as England Player of the Year for the 2021/22 season ahead of Declan Rice and Harry Kane — becoming the first ever Arsenal player to win the honour.
Jamal Musiala (Germany)
Jamal Musiala was born on the 26th of February 2003 in Stuttgart, Germany.
He was born to a Nigerian father and German mother. His family moved to England when he was 7 years old.
Musiala represented both Germany and England at youth level, but eventually pledged his international allegiance to Germany in February 2021.
He represented Germany at Euro 2020 and has made a total of 17 appearances for the country so far, scoring one goal.
He is one of the young players to watch out for at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Manuel Akanji (Switzerland)
Manuel Obafemi Akanji was born on the 19th of July 1995 in Neftenbach, Switzerland to a Swiss mother and a Nigerian father.
He represented Switzerland across various youth levels and made his debut for the senior team in June 2017.
Furthermore, he was part of the the Swiss team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In May 2019, Akanji played in the 2019 UEFA Nations League — helping his country finish 4th.
He also represented Switzerland at Euro 2020.
Akanji scored his first senior international goal for Switzerland against Spain in a 2-1 UEFA Nations League victory in September 2022.
Karim Adeyemi (Germany)
Karim-David Adeyemi was born on the 18th of January 2002 in Munich, Germany to a Nigerian father and a Romanian mother.
He played for Germany across various youth grades and made his debut for the German senior team in September 2021. He scored on his debut.
Karim Adeyemi helped Germany win the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 2021.
Noah Okafor (Switzerland)
Noah Arinzechukwu Okafor was born on the 24th of May 2000 in Binningen, Switzerland.
His father is of Igbo descent in Eastern Nigeria and his mother is Swiss.
He represented Switzerland at different youth levels and made his debut for the senior national team in June 2019.
Okafor scored his first international goal for Switzerland on the 15th of November 2021 in a 2022 World Cup qualifying game against Bulgaria.
Moreso, the goal secured automatic qualification for Switzerland to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Ike Ugbo (Canada)
Iké Dominique Ugbo was born on the 21st of September 1998 in Lewisham, England.
He grew up in Canada and played youth soccer there before returning to England, where he joined Chelsea academy.
Ugbo was eligible to represent England (through birth), Canada (through youth residency) and Nigeria (through his parents).
He represented England at under-17 and under-20 youth levels.
In September 2021, he announced that he had decided to change his international allegiance to Nigeria.
However, just 2 months later; he instead switched his international allegiance to Canada.
Samuel Adekugbe (Canada)
Samuel Ayomide Adekugbe was born on January 16 1995 in London, England to parents of Nigerian origin.
He lived in England until 10, when his family moved to Canada.
Adekugbe received his Canadian permanent residency status in 2013 and became a Canadian citizen in 2016.
Adekugbe was eligible to represent England, Nigeria or Canada internationally.
In 2012, he was revealed his dream of playing for England at Wembley.
However, he represented Canada at the youth levels and eventually made his senior debut in September 2015.
In June 2017, Adekugbe was part of Canada’s squad to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.