Long before the era of Ivory Coast and Cameroon internationals dominating the award at the turn of the century, Nigeria was Africa’s supreme football overlord. The football landscape has changed but Nigerian heroes will never be forgotten. Here are the four Nigerians who have won the CAF African Footballer of the Year award;
1. Rashidi Yekini 1993 Yekini was once Africa’s best striker in 1993 and 1994. The now deceased footballer could have achieved more if he was more careful with his post-football days. but that will not take the shine away from the Super Eagles highest goal scorer ever. Rashidi Yekini Yekini won the award during his playing days at Vitória de Setúbal of Portugal and came second in 1994.
2. Emmanuel Amunike – 1994 The former Barcelona winger won the award in 1994 for his efforts with Sporting CP of Portugal and El Zamalek of Egypt. His exploits for the Super Eagles at the 1994 AFCON in Tunisia where Nigeria became champions was outstanding. Amuneke was partof the Dream Team that won gold at the Atlanta 96 Olympics The 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup winning coach came second in 1995.
3. Kanu Nwankwo 1996/1999 Kanu won his first award in a year he played for Ajax and later Inter Milan. He was by far the best African in the world at that point and was even in the running for the Ballon d’Or. Kanu was named best player in Africa in 1996 and 1999 His second award came three years later when he was also in the running for the Ballon d’Or but this time he was already on the books of Arsenal.
4. Victor Ikpeba – 1997 After Kanu won the award on 1997, Ikpeba then with AS Monaco won the award. The mercurial striker led the principality club to UEFA Cup glory in 1997 and his prolific form was duly rewarded. Ikpeba (right) in action for AS Monaco in the Champions League