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Top six players that snubbed Nigeria to play at the Euros

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The 2024 Euros is already in full swing, with 24 of the best teams in Europe slugging it out to become the best team in Europe. Italy won the last edition in 2020, but they will get stiff opposition from other top countries like Spain, Germany, England, and Portugal.

Meanwhile, in the competition, there are players who could easily have played for Nigeria because of their descent, but they snubbed the three-time African champions and opted to don the jerseys of other countries in Europe.

In this article, Soccernet.ng names six of the top players at the Euros, who were eligible for Nigeria but chose to represent European countries instead.

Noah Okafor

The AC Milan striker currently represents Switzerland, but he could have played for the Super Eagles. He was born in Switzerland to a Nigerian father and a Swiss mother, but he opted to represent Switzerland.

Okafor got cap tied very early, as he got his debut in 2019, when he was barely 19 years of age. Before AC Milan, he already played for Basel and Salzburg. With the current Super Eagles squad, it would have been hard for Okafor to break into the team.

Michael Folorunsho

Folorunsho got cap tied in this tournament, when he got off the bench for Italy in their 2-1 win over Albania in the first game of the Euros. The 26-year-old midfielder is of Nigerian descent but was born in Italy, and he has decided to represent Italy.

Nevertheless, Folorunsho has never really been in the Super Eagles conversation, as he has not played at the top level yet. He spent last season at Hellas Verona on loan from Napoli. But it seems he will spend next season at Napoli.

Eberechi Eze

Eze is one of the most talented young players in the world at the moment. He was born in England to Nigerian parents, but he snubbed the Super Eagles to play for England.

Nigeria have been on his case for years, but Eze remained adamant, and was patient until the England call-up came. The 25-year-old would have been a superb addition to Nigeria’s squad in the number ten role.

Joshua Zirkzee

Zirkzee has risen to prominence in the last year following his impressive performances for Bologna in the Serie A. He was born in the Netherlands to a Nigerian mother and a Dutch father. And he has represented Netherland from youth level.

Before the Euros, Zirkzee had never kicked a ball for Netherland, and there were talks that he could switch to Nigeria because he was far below the pecking order in the striking position for Netherland. Interestingly, there is a possibility that Zirkzee could switch to Nigeria if he does not play at the Euros, as he would not be cap tied.

Bukayo Saka

Saka has always embraced his Nigerian roots. However, he has been a regular for the Three Lions of England for the past four years.

Born to Nigerian parents in England, Saka started from youth level and rose through the ranks. There were hopes that he would switch to England, but he did not even give room for doubts, as he got his England debut in 2020 and has never looked back since then.

Saka would have been a superb addition to Nigeria’s frontline though, as he would have been a big upgrade to Samuel Chukwueze.

Jamal Musiala

At just 21 years of age, Musiala has the world at his feet. He was born to a Nigerian father and a German mother, but he was raised in England. Hence, Musiala was eligible to play for all three countries.

He played for England at youth level, but he switched to Germany when he clocked 18. Musiala’s close control, ability to glide past challenges, and his pace make him a real asset. It’s not surprise he is an integral player for Bayern Munich and Germany where he has over 30 caps.

With his impressive ability, Musiala would have been a great addition to the Super Eagles squad.

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