Football is a universal sport, and Nigeria remains the biggest exporter of talented footballers Worldwide. A bulk of these foreign legions however ends up playing for their adopted countries in place of their country of birth or origin.
The list is endless, as countless numbers of Nigerian born footballers are daily seeking greener pastures or opportunities to showcase their potential in the color of their adopted countries. Nigeria ultimately becomes the biggest loser, as it is denied of quality players through this football drain.
Muri Ogunbiyi is an attacking midfielder who once played for the famous Enyimba football club of Aba. He presently plays for the squirrels of Benin Republic.
Carlton Cole was born of a Nigerian father and a Sierra Leone mother, but presently plays for England senior National football team. He is a top striker with English Premiership club- West Ham United.
Onyewu is a regular central defender in the United States of America senior National soccer team, with Nigerian root.
Gabby as he is fondly called turned down several invitations to play for Nigeria, and opted instead to honor a call up to play for England. He has a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father. He is a key member of Aston Villa F.C in the English Premier League.
Toto Tamuz is a son of former Nigerian international footballer Clement Temile. He presently stars for the Israeli National footballer team. His mother is an Israeli. Like his father, Toto Tamuz plays in the attacking positing for the Israeli national senior team.
Dennis is an experienced defender with the German U-19 national team. He has a Nigerian Father and presently plays for Hamburg SV in the German Bundesliga.
Rubin Rafael Okotie
Rubin is an Austrian U-21 international striker with Nigerian father and Austrian mother. His father hails from Delta State in Southern Nigeria.
The former Togolese national team captain was born to Nigerian parents in Lome, but currently playing for the Togolese National football team and Manchester City of England.
Paul Mc Grath
Paul Mc Grath is an Irish international who holds the distinct record of being the first Nigerian-born footballer to play for an adopted country, born to a Nigerian father and an Irish Mother.
Emmanuel Olisadebe was in sensational form during the FIFA 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Korea-Japan. He is a Nigerian footballer who switched allegiance to his adopted country-Poland.