By Adedapo Adesanya
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have qualified for the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled to hold in Cameroon.
The Nigerian side qualified for the tourney even before the 1-0 win over the Republic of Benin match on Saturday as a result of the goalless draw between fellow Group L members, Lesotho and Sierra Leone.
Two days ago, the Eagles inflicted the first home defeat in eight years on The Squirrels at the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo through a last gasp winner by Paul Onuachu.
The last time the team lost a game at home was in 2013 against the Desert Foxes of Algeria in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
The Super Eagles now top with 11 points from five games, the Republic of Benin have seven, while the Leone Stars and the Crocodiles have four and three points respectively.
The team, managed by German coach, Gernot Rohr, started the AFCON qualifiers on a flying note, securing a 2-1 victory over Benin at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom.
Victor Osimhen cancelled out Stephane Sessegnon opener before Bordeaux forward Samuel Kalu scored a fantastic long-range effort to seal the victory for Rohr’s men.
The West African country continued their impressive start to the campaign, securing a 4-2 win over Lesotho at Setsoto Stadium.
Osimhen got a brace in the encounter while goals from Everton star Alex Iwobi and Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze completed the rout.
The Super Eagles then squandered a 4-0 lead to draw 4-4 in Benin City against Sierra Leone, much to the displeasure of their fans.
Their second meeting with the Leone Stars in Freetown ended 0-0 and despite the back-to-back draw, the three-time African champions retained their top spot in Group L.
Nigeria have now qualified for their 19th appearance in the continental showpiece with one game on hand.
On Tuesday, the Super Eagles will square off against Lesotho in their final Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
The Super Eagles finished third at the last edition of the continental tournament in Egypt, behind winners Algeria and Senegal.
Their best performances at the biennial competition were in 1980, 1994 and 2013, where they won the highly coveted trophy.
The West African side remain the team with the most bronze medal at the tournament, winning it eight times.
They will hope to clinch their fourth title at the 2022 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Defending Champions and Ivory Coast Clinch AFCON Ticket
Last tournament champions, Morocco and the Ivory Coast also secured places at the tournament.
The Moroccans booked an 18th appearance after Group E rivals Burundi and the Central African Republic drew 2-2 in Bujumbura, where the visitors surrendered a two-goal matchday 5 lead.
That result assured the former champions of a top-two finish four hours before they play Mauritania in Nouakchott later Friday.
Morocco have 10 points, Burundi and Mauritania five each and the Central African Republic four in the section.
Ivory Coast thumped Niger 3-0 in Niamey to clinch a Group K place, with Ethiopia and Madagascar in contention for the other.
Tottenham Hotspur full-back Serge Aurier starred for the Elephants, scoring the first goal and creating the others for Max Gradel and Wilfried Kanon.
Congo needed maximum points against Senegal in Brazzaville to qualify from Group I but had to settle for a 0-0 draw and the satisfaction of ending the 100 per cent record of Sadio Mane and his Teranga Lions.
The Congolese have a two-point lead over Guinea-Bissau, who beat Eswatini 3-1 in Manzini, and they clash in Bissau Tuesday to decide who finishes runners-up behind Senegal and goes to Cameroon.
La Liga News: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid
Real Madrid continues its winning streak. In the match in La Liga, the champions defeated fellow Madrid club Atletico Madrid. Fede Valverde and Rodrigo were able to lead their team to a 2-1 victory.
But not only good news for Real Madrid, before the match Vinicius Junior, the Brazilian winger was exposed to racist remarks outside of the Metropolitano.
Match Analysis, Highlights & Score
The hosts had a great start to the match. They could already open the scoring after a free kick at the beginning of the game. But Felipe missed the target after a great pass from Paul.
Real Madrid opened the scoring after a great Goal from Rodrigo on 18 minute, who received an accurate pass from Aureulien Tchouameni.
The second goal from Real Madrid against Atletico was scored in the 36th minute. After Vinicius Junior made his way into the box, he passed the ball to Fede Valverde, who was able to score a goal from an acute angle. Jan Oblak could not save his goal from a missed ball.
In the 72nd minute of the match, Mario Hermoso came on as a substitute for Carrasco for Atletico Madrid, and it is worth noting that this substitution worked. Just 10 minutes after entering the field, the player took advantage of the mistake of Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and scored a goal. But until the end of the match, Hermoso could not finish the game because at 89 minutes, he received the first yellow card, and at 91 minutes, he received the second yellow card and was forced to leave the field ahead of schedule. As a result, Atletico Madrid finished the match in the minority.
Atletico Madrid 3 – 5 – 2
Goalkeeper – № 13 Jan Oblak.
Defenders – № 20 Axel Witsel, № 23 Reinildo Mandava, № 18 Felipe.
Midfielders – № 21 Carrasco, № 6 Koke, № 4 Kondogbia, № 5 De Paul, 14Llorente.
Forwards – № 7 João Félix, № 8 Griezmann.
Real Madrid 4 – 3 – 3
Goalkeeper – № 1 Courtois.
Defenders – № 23 Mendy, № 4 Alaba, № 3 Militao, # 2 Carvajal.
Midfielders – № 8 Kroos, № 18 Tchouaméni, № 10 Modric.
Forwards – № 20 Vinícius Júnior, № 21 Rodrygo, № 15 Valverde.
Substitutions cards and goals
18 min. Assist: A. Tchouaméni to Rodrygo – score 0-1.
28 min. Reinildo Isnard Mandava fouls and got yellow card.
33 min. Ferlan Mendy fouls and got yellow card.
18 min. Federico Valverde scored a goal – score 0-2.
2 minutes of the additional time in the first half.
Álvaro Morata substituted R. de Paul on 62 min.
Matheus Cunha substituted J. Félix on 62 min.
63 min. Koke fouls and got yellow card.
Mario Hermoso substituted Y. Carrasco on 72 min.
Ángel Correa substituted Koke on 73 min.
Antonio Rüdiger substituted F. Mendy on 74 min.
Saúl Ñíguez substituted G. Kondogbia on 81 min.
Eduardo Camavinga substituted L. Modrić on 73 min.
83 min. Mario Hermoso scored a goal – score 1-2.
Marco Asensi substituted T. Kroos on 86 min.
Dani Ceballos substituted Rodrygo on 86 min.
88 min. Daniel Carvajal fouls and got yellow card.
89 min. Mario Hermoso got yellow card for argument.
4 minutes of the additional time in the second half.
88 min. Daniel Carvajal fouls and got second yellow card (red card).
Atletico Madrid Real Madrid
53% Ball possession 47%
12 Total shots 6
4 Shots on target 3
4 Shots off target 2
4 Blocked shots 1
8 Corner kicks 1
2 Offsides 0
15 Fouls 16
4 Yellow cards 2
1 Red cards 0
1 Big chances 3
0 Big chances missed 1
0 Hit woodwork 1
7 Shots inside box 4
5 Shots outside box 2
1 Goalkeeper saves 3
565 Passes 507
508 (90%) Acc. Passes 451 (89%)
15/30 (50%) Long balls 41/59 (69%)
1/21 (5%) Crosses 0/4 (0%)
11/17 (65%) Dribbles 10/16 (63%)
103 Possession lost 88
43 Duels won 45
5 Aerials won 8
11 Tackles 12
9 Interceptions 17
8 Clearances 15
Free Live Scores & Team’s News
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28 min. Conor Coady fouls and got yellow card.
1 minute of the additional time in the first half.
53 min. Assist: Iwobi to Neal Maupay – score 0-1.
Maxwel Cornet substituted L. Paqueta on 61 min.
Saïd Benrahmasubstituted P. Fornals on 61 min.
62 min. Anthony Gordon fouls and got yellow card.
Gianluca Scamacca substituted M. Antonio on 70 min.
Dwight McNeil substituted A. Gordon on 74 min.
Abdoulaye Doucoure substituted D. Gray on 81 min.
Salomon Rondon substituted N. Maupay on 89 min.
5 minutes of the additional time in the first half.
Emerson Palmieri substituted A. Cresswell on 93 min.
94 min. Dwight McNeil fouls and got yellow card.
95 min. Gianluca Scamacca fouls and got yellow card.
Highest Paid Nigerian Footballer – How Much Do Nigerian Footballers Earn
Highest-Paid footballer from Nigeria
The phrase “Naija no dey carry last” has been evident in football recently as there has been an influx of Nigerian footballers playing abroad. Football is the most popular sport in Nigeria with millions of fans supporting their clubs abroad. Nigeria has always been a home of incredible football talents and with more amazing young footballers showing in recent years, the weekly wages of Nigerian footballers has been on a rise.
The huge wages being paid to Nigerian footballers isn’t a surprise as the impact of the players is evident in those teams. Aside from the high wages they earn, Naija footballers are being traded for a huge amount of money. In the summer of 2020, Victor Oshimen became the most expensive African footballer of all time as he joined Napoli from Lille for about $80 million-plus add-on. Hardly any top European league without a Nigerian footballer performing at a high level and earning huge wages. A good sign for the Super Eagles as the national squad is now full of top talents.
We have decided to go on an adventure to reveal the highest-paid footballers from Nigeria, who are also featured in the best football predictions bettors will find on Takebet Nigeria. We have searched all leagues where Nigerian players compete, from European leagues such as English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga to other top leagues.
Let’s dig into the list of the highest-paid footballers from Nigeria.
Odion Ighalo – Striker, Al-Hilal – $170,000 (last know)
Odion Ighalo is one of the most popular Nigerian players. The striker became the first Nigerian international to play for Manchester United after he joined the club on loan from the Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020. Odion Ighalo scored five goals in 23 appearances before returning to Shanghai Shenhua at the end of his loan.
The Nigerian international joined Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab from the Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in 2021. Ighalo scored 10 league goals in 19 appearances for Shanghai Shenhua. Odion made his debut in 2005 and moved to Europe in 2008 where he joined Udinese. The Nigerian international joined Watford during the 2014-15 and scored 36 league goals in 90 appearances for the club.
Odion Ighalo represented the Super Eagles during the 2018 World Cup. The Nigerian international holds the record for the most goals scored during a single Africa Cup of Nations with seven goals in 2019.
Ighalo earned $170,000 per week in Al Shabab. Odion Ighalo joins Al-Hilal, another Saudi football club, after the AFCON 2021. His salary in the new club is currently unknown, but the striker is sure to keep his #1 spot.
Victor Osimhen – Striker, Napoli – $110,000
Victor Osimhen is currently one of the best strikers in Europe. The Nigerian international has been amazing for Napoli this season after a slow start to life in the Italian Club. Victor Osimhen became the most expensive Africa striker in history after he joined Napoli from Lille for a fee of about $80 million in the winter transfer of 2020.
The Napoli striker has scored 19 goals in 45 appearances for the Italian side. Osimhen had an incredible rise to glory as he wasn’t able to join either Zulte Waregem or Club Brugge in his early days due to Malaria. Victor was in Nigeria’s under-17 team that won the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Nigerian international won the Golden Boot in the tournament with 10 goals. He also won the Silver Ball award during the tournament.
Osimhen missed out on the 2018 World Cup squad. He made his debut for the national team in 2017. The Nigerian international made the squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and has been brilliant since then. He has scored 10 goals in 18 appearances for the national team.
Victor currently plays in Napoli and he earns $110,000 per week.
Wilfred Ndidi – Midfielder, Leicester City – $100,000
Wilfred Ndidi is currently one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. The Nigerian international has been incredible since he joined Leicester City from Genk in the winter transfer of 2017 for $20m. Ndidi has scored 10 goals in 196 appearances since he joined the club.
The Nigerian international won the most tackles in the Premier League (138) during the 2017-18 season. He also won the most tackles in the league in the following season of 2018-19. Wilfred Ndidi was an important player of the squad that won the 2020-21 FA Cup as they defeated Chelsea by a goal to nil.
Ndidi represented Nigeria during the 2016 Summer Olympics. He made the squad for the 2018 World Cup as they were knocked out in the group stage. Ndidi also represented the Super Eagles in the 2019 and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. He has 47 caps for the Nigerian national team.
Wilfred Ndidi currently plays for Leicester City and earns $100,000 per week.
Kelechi Iheanacho – Striker, Leicester City – $80,000
Seniorman Kelz as he is widely regarded came into the limelight after an impressive outing during the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Nigerian international won the Golden Ball award as the Super Eagles won the tournament. Iheanacho scored six goals during the competition as he won the Silver Boot.
Kelechi Iheanacho joined Manchester City in 2015. Iheanacho scored 21 goals in 64 appearances for Manchester City as he won the English Football League Cup. The Nigerian international joined Leicester City for a fee of about $30 million in the summer of 2017. Iheanacho was brilliant during the 2020-21 season as he scored 12 goals in the Premier League, overperforming his expected goals of 8.20.
Iheanacho represented Nigeria during the 2018 World Cup. The Leicester City striker also represented the Super Eagles during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Iheanacho has scored 12 goals in 42 appearances for the national team.
Kelechi Iheanacho currently plays for Leicester City and earns $80,000.
Alex Iwobi – Midfielder, Everton – $68,000
Alex Iwobi started his club career with Arsenal as he joined the youth team in 2004. The Nigerian international made his senior debut in 2015 for Arsenal against Sheffield Wednesday.
Iwobi scored 15 goals in 149 appearances for Arsenal as he spent four seasons with the senior team. The Nigerian international joined Everton from Arsenal for a fee of about $45 million in the summer of 2019. Iwobi won the FA Cup and two Community Shields with the Gunners. The Nigerian international has scored six goals in 80 appearances for Everton.
Alex made his international debut for Nigeria in 2015 although he started as a youth international for England. The Everton player has scored nine goals in 53 appearances for the Super Eagles. Iwobi scored the winning goal against Zambia to secure a spot for the Super Eagles in the 2018 World Cup. He was featured in the 2018 World Cup as Nigeria was knocked out in the group stage.
Iwobi played for the Super Eagles in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian international was sent off in the Round of 16 of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as the Super Eagles suffered a 0-1 defeat to Tunisia.
Alex Iwobi currently plays for Everton and earns $68,000.
Victor Moses – Midfielder, Spartak Moscow – $56,000
Victor Moses was a popular player amongst Nigerian fans after he played a huge role in Chelsea’s Premier League triumph during the 2016-17 season. The Nigerian international started his club career in Crystal Palace before joining Wigan in 2010. Chelsea signed Moses in the summer of 2022 from Wigan. Moses went on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United before returning for the 2016-17 season.
The Nigerian international was converted to a right wing-back under Antonio Conte as Chelsea won the league. Moses was later loaned out to different teams such as Fenerbache, Inter Millan and Spartak Moscow. The latter club signed the player on a permanent basis in July 2021. Victor Moses scored 18 goals in 128 appearances while playing for Chelsea. He won the Premier League, FA Cup and two UEFA Europa League titles with the Blues.
Victor Moses scored 12 goals in 37 appearances for the Nigeria national team. The Spartak Moscow player was an important player in Nigeria’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations triumph. Moses featured for the Super Eagles in the 2014 World Cup and the 2018 World Cup where he scored a goal in the 1-2 defeat to Argentina.
Victor Moses currently plays for Spartak Moscow and earns $56,000.
Moses Simon – Winger, Nantes – $40,000
Moses Simon was Nigeria’s best player during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian international started his senior club career with AS Trencin in 2014 where he scored 17 goals in 39 appearances before joining Gent in 2015. Moses scored 21 goals in 136 appearances with Gent as he spent four seasons at the club before joining Levante. The Nigerian international won the Belgian Pro League and Belgian Super Cup while in Gent.
Moses joined Levante on loan for the 2019-20 season with an option to buy. The deal was made permanent the following season as he signed a four-year deal. Moses has scored 17 goals in 85 appearances for Nantes.
Simon made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2015 against Uganda. He has scored six goals in 45 appearances for the national team. Simon represented Nigeria during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Highest paid Nigerian footballer FAQ
Who is the highest-paid footballer in Nigeria?
Odion Ighalo is the highest-paid Nigerian footballer. Ighalo joined Al Shabab from Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020 where he was being paid $402,000. The Nigerian international was the first player to play for Manchester United after he took a pay cut and received $200,000 to join the club on loan.
The Nigerian international was paid $170,000 in Al Shabab, and he is thought to stay in the same salary range in his new Saudi club, Al-Hilal, which he joins after the AFCON 2021.
Who is the richest Nigerian football player overall?
John Obi Mikel is the richest Nigerian footballer with a net worth of about $57 million. The Nigerian international is one of the greatest footballers in the country’s history. Mike Obi made his fortunes while playing for Chelsea in the Premier League. He spent 11 seasons at Chelsea where he scored six goals in 372 appearances for the club. Mikel won two Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Europa League, three FA Cup, one English Football League Cup and one FA Community Shield during his time at Chelsea.
Mikel Obi is currently a free agent after his contract with Kuwait SC was terminated just four months after joining the club.
Who is the most expensive footballer from Nigeria?
Victor Osimhen is the most expensive Nigerian footballer. Osimhen joined Napoli from Lille for a fee of about $80m in 2020 after scoring 18 goals in 38 appearances for the French club. The Nigerian international has scored 19 goals in 45 appearances for Napoli. Osimhen is being paid $110,000 per week in Napoli.
Ibrahim Gusau Succeeds Amaju Pinnick as NFF President
By Dipo Olowookere
Mr Ibrahim Gusau has been elected to succeed Mr Amaju Pinnick as the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Mr Gusau emerged the new leader of the football governing organisation in Nigeria at an election held on Friday in Benin City, the capital of Edo State.
He will direct football affairs in the country for the next four years as a result of his emergence as the NFF president today.
Mr Gusau defeated his other contenders for the position by polling 21 votes. His closest challenger, Mr Seyi Akinwunmi, who served as the first vice president under Mr Pinnick, garnered 12 votes. Another challenger, Mr Shehu Dikko, who was the former chairman of the League Management Committee (LMC), raked in six votes at the 78th Elective Congress of the NFF in Benin City.
In addition, a former Super Eagles goal-stopper, Mr Peterside Idah, got a lone vote at the exercise, same as Mr Abba Abdullahi, while Mr Christian Emeruwa and Mr David-Buhari Doherty, got no single vote.
Mr Pinnick, who is an executive of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of association football, was the president of the NFF for eight years.
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