In contemporary times, Nigerians are known to be scattered across the globe. They end up settling in different continents. Europe is known to have the highest concentration of Nigerians in diaspora. As a result of this, they procreate, hereby giving birth to children with Nigerian heritage.
Some turn out to be talented footballers, in the cases of David Alaba, Ross Barkley etc. They’ve ended up playing for either their country of birth or their country of naturalisation. As a result of this, the Super Eagles has lost plethora of talented footballers to other countries. They failed to act swiftly to try and motivate and convince them to dorn the green and white colours of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Fast forward to the tenure of NFF President ‘Amaju Pinnick’, he and his cohorts have sought the means to motivate and convince young prospects to turn up for Nigeria as soon as possible, before it is too late. As a result, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Carl Ikeme and most notably, Alex Iwobi have all been convinced to ditch their countries of naturalisation in favour of Nigeria. In light of this, here are top ten football prospects that should be convinced to be part of the Nigerian set-up.
1. Tiago Ilori
Tiago Abiola Delfim Almeida Ilori (born 26 February 1993) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for English club Liverpool FC. Tiago was born in Hampstead, London to a British father of Nigerian descent and a Portuguese mother.
He plays as a Central Defender. He is uncharacteristically fast for a defender nowadays. He was the fastest player ever recorded over 30 metre sprints at Sporting’s academy set-up, breaking the times of the likes of pace merchants Nani, Ricardo Quaresma and Cristiano Ronaldo in the process.
Tiago started his professional career with Portuguese giants, Sporting Lisbon, he rose to their ranks and made his debut in 2011. After promising seasons with Lisbon, he signed for Liverpool in 2013 for an undisclosed fee, reported to be around £7million. Since signing for Liverpool, Ilori has been shipped out on loan to various clubs, recently to Aston Villa to gain valuable experience.
Tiago Ilori is eligible to play for Portugal (Mother), England(Place of Birth) or Nigeria(Father).
Tiago hasn’t been given the opportunity to prove his mettle at his parent club, he still has plenty of years ahead of him to make his name in world football. Nigeria would be wise to unearth this gem quickly.