The seven Nigerian-born stars at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

The Super Eagles will not be in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup which starts today, Sunday 20 November.

But several players of Nigerian descent will attend the world’s biggest football festival, having been included in other countries’ teams.

jamal musiala
Representing – Germany
Age – 19
Club – Bayern Munich
Position – Midfielder, Winger

Jamal Musiala, one of the most talented young players in the world today, has already made 17 caps for Germany at just 19 years old after making his international debut in 2021.

A product of the Chelsea academy, Musiala was eligible to play for Nigeria (through his father), England and Germany.

Wonderkid represented the youth teams of the two European countries at different times. But Musiala ultimately settled on the four-time world champions.

The Bayern Munich star could be crucial to any height Germany reaches in Qatar.

Karim-David Adeyemi
Representing – Germany
Age – 20
Club – Borussia Dortmund
Position – Forward

Born to a Nigerian father and a Romanian mother, Germany took advantage of the fact that Karim Adeyemi was born in Munich to integrate the youngster into its youth system.

Regarded as a generational talent, Adeyemi won the 2019 Fritz Walter Award for the best young man in Germany.

Just last year, the former Salzburg striker led Germany to victory at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

And the Nationalelf hope Adeyemi can help inspire another title win in Qatar.

Noah Arinzechukwu Okafor
Representing – Switzerland
Age – 24
Club – Red Bull Salzburg
Position: Winger, forward

Noah Okafor was born in Binningen, Switzerland, to a Nigerian father and a Swiss mother.

Okafor’s talent was on display when he was at the Basel youth academy, and the striker had been part of the Swiss youth system since the under-15s.

The Salzburg winger made his debut for Switzerland in 2019. And his place in Qatar was sealed last November when he scored a goal in the win over Bulgaria that secured Switzerland’s automatic qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Manuel Obafemi Akanji
Representing – Switzerland
Age – 27
Club-Manchester City
Position – Defender

Also born to a Swiss mother and a Nigerian father, Manuel Akanji could have been playing for the Super Eagles.

But the Neftenbach-born centre-back’s progression from the Swiss youth teams to the national team was completed in 2017.

And after racking up 43 caps for the Red Cross, Akanji is one of the most experienced bosses at the Swiss camp in Qatar.

And the Manchester City defender will be aiming for a repeat of the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals, where his team finished fourth.

Samuel Ayomide Adekugbe
Representing – Canada
Age – 27
Club – Hatayspor
Position – Left Back

Born in England to Nigerian parents and raised in Canada, Samuel Adekugbe could have played for any of the three countries.

But Canada gave Adekugbe a shot at the youth level and included him in their squad for the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be Adekugbe’s first appearance at football’s biggest party.

Bukayo Ayoyinka Saka
Representing – England
Age – 21
Club-Arsenal
Position: Winger, left back, midfielder

Considered one of the best young footballers in the world, Bukayo Saka’s goal in Qatar will include making amends for his missed penalty in last year’s European Championship final.

Winner of Arsenal’s Player of the Season award for the past two seasons, Saka heads to his first World Cup with more experience than many in his age group.

However, the 21-year-old winger could have been representing Nigeria through his parents.

Ike Dominique Ugbo
Representing – Canada
Age – 24
Club–Troyes
Position – Forward

Ike Ugbo was eligible to represent Nigeria (through his parents), England (by birth), and Canada (by youth residency).

The Chelsea academy product helped England U20 win the 2017 Toulon Tournament.

But in September 2021, Ugbo made public his decision to play international football for three-time African champions Nigeria.

A couple of months later, however, the 24-year-old striker made a U-turn and switched his international allegiance to Canada instead.

And after only making eight appearances for the Reds without scoring a goal, Ugbo was included in Canada’s squad for Qatar 2022.

And the Troyes star will be looking to help the Canadians get past the group stage for the first time in World Cup history.

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