The Spanish La Liga is another home for top Nigerian Professional footballers for years and has since attracted lots of followers from Nigeria.
From notable names like Emmanuel Amunike who played for FC Barcelona and Finidi George who also had stints at Real best is Balompie and Mallorca.
The Spanish league is not like every other Scandinavian league which serve as starting point for Nigerian who left the shores of the country for greener pastures.
Instead, it is a destination for players that are gradually and or well established.
Emmanuel Amunike for example played for FC Barcelona between 1996 and 2002 before leaving for Albacete.
Before leaving for the Catalans, he was a key figure at Sporting CP in Portuguese.
In the last decade, top players like Ikechukwu Uche made the major headlines during his time at Villarreal.
Competitiveness and now Nigeria stars have performed recently
Samuel Chukweze is one of the notable names constantly making headlines in the Spanish top division with a playing style compared to top players around Europe.
Ikechukwu Uche is another notable Nigerian that played in La Liga. He was also in the books of Villareal before his eventual departure from the club.
Here are the top Nigerian Professional Footballers in the Spanish La Liga and La Liga 2
1. Samuel Chukweze – Villarreal
Samuel Chukweze remains the hottest and the best Nigerian footballer out there in Spain since the departure of Ikechukwu Uche at Villarreal, who used to be the Nigerian attraction in the division.
The Umuahia born winger joined the Yellow Submarines back in 2018 after making three appearances for Nigeria’s Under 17 youth setup.
He is currently one of the best Nigerian footballers in Europe with a rocket playing style compared with former Bayern Munich star and legend Arjen Robben.
He left Diamond Football Academy in 2018 for Villarreal B, before he was promoted to the first team and have since commanded the first-team action.
2. Ramon Azeez – Granada CF (Cartagena)
Ramon Azeez is one of the few Nigerian under 17 setups in 2009 that have kept on playing for notable clubs in Europe.
Azeez has since played for over three clubs in Spain.
His first bus top in the Spanish country was Almeria, just two years after achieving silver with Nigeria under 17.
He was also with Lugo in 2019, scoring just two in over 49 appearances.
He’s been one of the most consistent footballers of Nigerian origin in Europe in the past few seasons. Azeez has also had high points in his career.
He was also part of Nigeria’s FIFA World Cup squad in Brazil in 2014.
3. Kelechi Nwakali – Huesca
The former Arsenal man saw his career swings across several European clubs on loan. So far, he has had three loan spells throughout his career with clubs like MVV Maastricht (twice), VVV-Venlo, Porto B.
As a youth international, he played eleven games for Nigeria, scoring three times in the process.
Moving to Arsenal was one of the major high points of Kelechi Nwakali’s career.
Moving to Huesca, Nwakali helped the club gain promotion to the Spanish La Liga, even though it was very tough to command the first team shirt.
La Liga 2
4. Sadiq Umar – Almeria
Sadiq Umar is Professional Footballers who play a forward.
He was with Partizan Belgrade before making the quick switch to Almeria.
Since then, he’s turned himself into one of the most outstanding attackers in the La Liga second division, helping Almeria to a top-three finish in 2020 before the compulsory La Liga winter break.
He also played for big teams like AS Roma, Rangers and Torino.
Umar shot into the limelight in 2016 after helping Nigeria to an Olympic silver medal in Rio 2016 with the national U23 setup.
5. Kenneth Omeruo – Leganes
Omeruo began his career with Standard Liege in 2012 which came as a blessing after helping the super eagles lift the 2012 African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
He cemented his place in the starting lineup and went on to secure bragging rights as one of the best home-based players at that time.
The major high point of his career was the move to English Premier League side Chelsea, even though he never played a single completive game for the London club.
Throughout his career, he’s had six loan spells before settling permanently with Leganes in 2019.
6. Apeh Emmanuel – Tenerife
Apeh played most of his career outside the shores of the country, starting with a brief stint in Spain, before to Loca and Celta Vigo.
He is not a popular household name when it comes to Nigerian footballers home or abroad.
He was born in Kaduna state and graduated from SamVic Academy.
7. Igbekeme James – Zaragoza
Nicknamed The Black Panther, he plays as a forward for Zaragoza.
Born in Lagos State, he started his Professional Football career with Ribeirão in 2013
8. Bobby Adekanye
Bobby is a Nigerian born who represents the Dutch national team internationally.
He started his senior career at Lazio in 2019, before moving on loan to Cadiz in 2020.
He is also eligible to play for Nigeria at the senior level.
9.Israel Peter – Cadiz B
10. Saturday Erimuya
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