Nigerian footballers with 100-goal landmark

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Napoli striker Victor Osimhen joined the exalted league of Nigerian footballers to have hit the 100-goal mark for their various clubs after scoring the first goal in the Serie A champions 2-0 win over Sassuolo on Sunday.

Coincidentally, the Nigerian netted his 100 career goal against the same opponents on February 18, 2023.

After making his professional debut for Wolfsburg in 2017, Osimhen spent time at RSC Charleroi and Lille, before moving to Napoli in 2020, where he would score 62 goals for the Serie A side in just 103 games.

Prior to his move to Italy, the 24-year-old scored 18 goals from 38 matches playing for Lille while netting another 20 goals in 36 games for Charleroi.

Osimhen played a major role as Napoli claimed the Serie A title last season – their first in three decades.

While the Lagos-born striker is the latest Nigerian to hit the goalscoring landmark, it is worthy of note that there are other Nigerians to have hit the milestone.

We takes a look at other Nigerians who scored 100 goals and more playing for their clubs.

Rashidi Yekini

Top of the list is no other but Nigerian legend and former African Player of the Year, Yekini.

The late striker banged an impressive 483 goals in 673 appearances before retiring in 2005. His professional career, which spanned more than two decades, was mainly associated with Vitória de Setúbal in Portugal, but he also played in six other countries besides Nigeria.

While in Portugal, Yekini scored 91 goals in just 114 appearances and also etched his name in Ivory Coast’s Africa Sports’ history after netting 217 goals in 243 appearances during his two spells with the club.

Yekini, who netted Nigeria’s first-ever goal in a World Cup in 1994, scored a whooping 154 goals playing for UNTL Kaduna (12), Shooting Stars (45), Abiola Babes (80), Julius Berger (10) and Gateway (7).

Scoring 37 goals for Nigeria in 62 appearances, Yekini is the national record goal scorer.

Cyriel Dessers

The 2021/22 season was arguably Dessers second best outing in his career. The one-cap Nigeria international scored 20 across all competitions that season and also finished as Europa Conference League top scorer with 10 goals from 12 matches guiding them to the final where they lost to Roma.

The 20-goal landmark was the striker’s best output in topflight football, with his performance in 2019/20 the closest, when he scored a total of 18 goals across all competitions. The striker’s best goal return was in the 2016/17 season when he scored a total of 29 goals in 40 games across all competitions in the second tier of the Dutch league with NAC Breda.

Dessers reached a landmark of 100 goals in his entire career on May 8, 2022. He currently has 113 club career goals.

Odion Ighalo

One of Africa’s most prolific goal scorers, Ighalo has found the back of the net on 219 occasions playing for 12 different clubs.

The 2019 AFCON Golden Boot winner has 469 appearances with a total of 31,431 minutes.

Ighalo continues to prove that he remains one of the best players in the Saudi Arabian Professional League after helping Al-Wehda FC edge past Al-Tai 3-0 in his first appearance of the season.

Asisat Oshoala

With 134 club goals, Oshoala etched her name as one of the deadliest strikers in women’s football.

The five-time Africa Women’s Footballer of the Year has been prolific in front of goal especially since she joined Barcelona in Spain in 2019.

In her five-year spell with the Spanish giants, the Super Falcons striker had scored over 100 goals. In February, the Catalan club confirmed in an official statement on its website that Oshoala had reached a 100-goal landmark for the club in 131 appearances.

The 28-year-old, according to the statement, had scored 78 goals in the league, 11 in the Champions League, five in the Copa de la Reina, four in the Spanish Super Cup and two in Copa Catalunya.

Before joining Barcelona, the forward had scored 23 goals in 20 appearances for Dalian Quanjian in China while also 11 goals for Arsenal (2), Liverpool (3) and Rivers Angels (6).

Obafemi Martins

Before his retirement in 2021, as per Transfermarkt, Martins scored a total of 183 goals in 488 appearances.

The striker plied his trade in the Serie A, English Premier League, Bundesliga, Russian League, La Liga, MLS, and the Chinese Super League.

Martins netted five goals for the first time for Italian side, Inter Milan, in the UEFA Champions League in the 2004/2005 campaign, thereby, setting a record as a Nigerian footballer with the most goals in the competition – a record equaled by Osimhen in April.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni

Ranked among the greatest strikers in Premier League history, Yakubu scored 113 goals in one of the toughest leagues in the world, a stat that shows how prolific he was in front of goals.

The Yaks, as he was fondly called, netted 42 goals playing for Portsmouth and 33 each for Everton and Middlesbrough. He scored another 18 goals playing for Blackburn Rovers.

Aside from the 113 goals scored in the Premier League, Yakubu added more 102 goals playing in other leagues taking his total tally to 215 goals.

Despite criticism, Yakubu has 21 goals in 58 appearances playing for Nigeria and is among the country’s all-time top scorers.

Jonathan Akpoborie

The 58-year-old Bundesliga legend notched up 161 club goals in 372 games, mostly in Germany.

In 36 appearances for Stuttgarter Kickers, Akpoborie scored 38 goals while adding another 32 goals in 80 appearances playing for VfB Stuttgart. His spell with VfL Wolfsburg also witnessed 21 goals in 46 appearances.

While playing for FC Carl Zeiss Jena he banged in 28 goals and another 20 in the colour of FC Hansa Rostock.

Osaze Odemwingie

Despite playing mostly as a right winger Odemwingie scored an astonishing 133 goals in his club career. Odemwingie’s profile rose following his move to the Premier League where he scored 15 goals in his debut season in the English top flight with West Brom.

The Super Eagles star had a fairly successful time at The Hawthorns before further spells at Cardiff City, Stoke City, Bristol City, and Rotherham.

Ikechukwu Uche

The 2013 AFCON winner scored 121 club goals before his retirement with all the goals scored in Spain. Uche netted 83 goals combined playing for Villarreal and Recreativo.

Kanu Nwankwo

Kanu was part of the Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ squad of 2003/04, as well as winning the Premier League in 2002 and 2004, the English FA Cup in 2002 and 2003, and the FA Charity Shield in 1999.

The now Enyimba chairman scored 54 goals during his time in the Premier League and had a total of 109 goals throughout his club career.

Kanu enjoyed a hugely successful career, winning the UEFA Champions League, the English Premier League, and the Olympics amongst many other titles.

Victor Ikpeba

The prince of Monaco as he is fondly called scored 114 goals from 367 club appearances. He was named CAF African Footballer of the Year in 1997. Ikpeba is one of the most decorated African players.

John Utaka

The 2008 FA Cup winner found the back of the net 114 times from 510 games after playing in the Ligue 1, Premier League and Egyptian League.

Perpetua Nkwocha

The list would be incomplete if Nkwocha is excluded.

While stats about her time with Pelican Stars Rivers Angels (previously known as Larry Angels) are unavailable, the four-time Africa Women Footballer of the Year scored 32 goals for Swedish team, Sunnana SK.

Per FIFA, she scored 80 international goals – a remarkable average of 0.8 goals a game.

Mercy Akide

Akide was the first African Woman Footballer of the Year in 2000 and miles ahead of her peers.

She is the first African woman who got a soccer scholarship in the US and her single-season record goal of 49 in Milligan College (Tennessee) is a testament to her attacking prowess.

In her two seasons with Jegede Babes she scored a total of 75 goals. While her stats for the Super Falcons remain sketchy, the 47-year-old is believed to have scored over 80 goals during her career.

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