As Sevilla and Inter Milan get set to clash in the final of the 2019/2020 Europa League, Completesports.com here highlights five Nigerian players who have won the competition previously known as the UEFA Cup.
Former Super Eagles stars; Nwankwo Kanu, Taribo West, Chidi Odiah, John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses remain the Nigerian quartet to have lifted Europe’s second most prestigious trophy. While Kanu, West and Odiah are fully retired from active football, Mikel and Moses are still playing.
1. Nwankwo KANU (Inter Milan 1997/1998)
Nwankwo Kanu was a member the Inter Milan Squad that won the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) for the third time, in 1997/1998 Season, for the Serie A giants.
He was teammates with compatriot, Taribo West, in that Inter team. And Papilo became the first Nigerian to win both the UEFA Cup and Champions League following his earlier bigger win with Ajax Amsterdam.
Nwankwo was an unused substitute as Inter beat Lazio 3-0 at the Parc des Princes on May 6 1998 with goals from Zamorano, Zanetti and Ronaldo (Brazil).
2. Taribo WEST (Inter Milan, 1997/1998)
Former Super Eagless centre-back, Taribo West was the first Nigerian to win the UEFA Europa League formerly known as the UEFA Cup.
Taribo achieved the historic feat while starring prominently for Italian Serie A side, Inter Milan who went on to beat fellow Serie A club
Lazio 3-0 in the 1998 final played at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France and watched by 44,412 fans.
Taribo made a total of 12 UEFA Cup appearances clocking 1,034 minutes scoring 2 goals despite playing as a defender.
Chidi Odiah and CSKA teammates celebrate their Europa League win
3. Chidi ODIAH (CSKA Moscow, 2004/2005)
Former Super Eagles righ wing-back, Chidi Odiah is the second Nigerian player to win the UEFA Cup now known as the Europa League.
Odiah featured prominently for Russian top side, CSKA Moscow who went on to beat Portuguese side, Sporting CP 3-1 in the 2005 final played at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon, Portugal and watched by 47,085 fans.
Odiah made a total of 16 UEFA Cup
appearances clocking 1,367 minutes and has 1 goal to his credit.
4. John Mikel OBI (Chelsea, 2012/2013)
Former Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel, added the Europa League title to his array of laurels following the triumph with
Mikel, who is Nigeria’s second most-decorated player featured prominently as Chelsea recorded a 2-1 win over Portuguese side, Benfica in the 2013 final played at the Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands and watched by 46,163 fans.
Mikel has made nine Europa League appearances totaling 572
minutes and is the only Nigerian player among the four winners without any goal to his credit.
5. Victor MOSES (Chelsea, 2012/2013, 2018/2019)
Former Nigeria international Victor Moses holds the record record of the only Nigerian player to have won the Europa League
twice with English Premier League side, Chelsea, in the 2012/13 and 2018/19 seasons.
Moses currently on loan at Inter Milan from Chelsea, will now be gunning for his third Europa League title as Inter clash with Sevilla in
The 27-year old wing-back had previously made a total of 14 appearances in Europa League totaling 850 minutes with four goals and one assist to his credit going into today’s final at the RheinEnergie Stadium in Cologne, Germany.
By Sulaiman Alao
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