The FIFA World Cup tournament which is played every four years is the highest competition in the World of football. Every player dreams of lifting the prestigious trophy with their national team so it is always intense. Nigeria has made it to the World Cup Competition on six occasions. These were in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014, and 2018.
The Super Eagles are yet to win the World Cup since its inception. The most they’ve gone is the round of 16 which they’ve reached on 3 occasions. No African country has won the FIFA World Cup even. Nevertheless, all Nigerian players give their best when they come on for World Cup games.
Different players have scored for Nigeria in the FIFA World Cup. Listed below are Nigeria top scorers in the FIFA World Cup;
1. Ahmed Musa
Ahmed Musa is Nigeria’s highest goal scorer in the World Cup. The striker has scored a total of 4 golds for the Super Eagles in two World Cup tournaments. He scored two goals in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Interestingly, each pair of goals came in one game.
In 2014, Nigeria faced Argentina in the group state. Nigeria lost the game 2 – 3 with Ahmed Musa scoring the two goals. Lionel Messi first gave Argentina the lead and Musa equalized for Nigeria. Lionel Messi scored the second for Argentina with a free kick and Musa re-equalized for Nigeria. Both of his goals were sublime.
Unfortunately, Rojo stole a late goal to win the match for Argentina. In 2018, the story was different. Musa’s two goals helped Nigeria win the group stage match against Iceland by 2 goals to nothing. Notably, his second goal was world class as he beat a number of defenders before finding the net. The goal was nominated for the goal of the tournament.
2. Daniel Amokachi
The second highest goal scorer for Nigeria in the World Cup is Daniel Amokachi. His two goals came in the 1994 World Cup tournament which was hosted in the United States. This was the first time Nigeria was playing in the World Cup. The 1994 World Cup is one of the most popular till date.
It was the first time Nigeria was going for the World Cup yet they made it to the round of 16 where they unfortunately lost to Italy in extra time. Notably, Diego Maradona played against Nigeria in this tournament and that was his last match for Argentina.
Daniel Amokachi scored in two group stage games. The first came against Bulgaria. Nigeria won the match with 3 goals to nothing with the other two goals coming from Yekini and Amuneke. Daniel Amokachi got his second in the last group stage game against Greece. Nigeria won the match with 2 goals to nil and the other goal was scored by Finidi George.
3. Emmanuel Amunike
Emmanuel Amunike is joint second highest goal scorer for the Super Eagles in the World Cup with Daniel Amokachi. Furthermore, his two goals also came in the 1994 tournament in the USA. Playing as a winger, Amunike got his first goal for Nigeria in Nigeria’s first World Cup match.
He scored the last goal in the 3 – 0 win against Bulgaria after goals from Rashidi Yekini and Daniel Amokachi. His second goal came in the round of 16 game against Italy. Interestingly, Amunike scored early in the 25th minute to give Nigeria the lead.
It looked like the Super Eagles were going to win this one until Baggio scored for Italy just 2 minutes before the end of the game. The game would go into extra time and Baggio got his second goal in the 102nd minute with a penalty.
Emmanuel Amunike is one of the only 2 players to have scored for Nigeria in the round of 16 stage. The other was Babangida in 1998.
4. Kalu Uche
Three Nigeria players have scored 2 goals for the Super Eagles and Kalu Uche is the third. Like other players, his 2 goals came in one tournament – the 2010 World Cup tournament that was played in South Africa.
It was one of the worst performances in the Super Eagles history as they didn’t make it out of the group stage after losing two goals and drawing one. The same was the case in the previous 2002 World Cup. Nigeria lost 2 games against Argentina and Sweden and drew the last against England.
Kalu Uche scored his first goal in the 2 – 1 loss against Greece. It was Nigeria’s second game after they lost the first to Argentina. Kalu Uche got his second goal in the last group stage game against South Korea. The game ended 2 – 2 and Yakubu Godwin got the last goal for Nigeria with a penalty.
Other Notable Mentions
The above named players are the top scorers for Nigeria in the World Cup. They are the only players with multiple goals. Every other Nigerian goal scorer in the World Cup has just one goal. Here are some notable mentions;
1. Rashidi Yekini
Rashidi Yekini scored just one goal for Nigeria in the World Cup. However, this goal will always be remembered because it’s Nigeria’s first goal in the competition’s history. Yekini scored in the game against Bulgaria where he did the iconic celebration of shaking the opponent’s net.
2. Peter Odemwinge
Odemwinge scored a lone goal for Nigeria in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The goal is important because it gave the Super Eagles their only win in the tournament. The player scored against Bosnia and Herzegovina and the goal helped Nigeria reach the round of 16.
In the FIFA world cup competition, Nigeria has scored a total of 22 goals as of 2018. These 22 goals were scored by 16 players out of which just 4 have scored twice. Ahmed Musa is Nigeria’s top scorer in the World Cup.