Nigerian Roots, European Glory: Stars of Nigerian Descent Shine at Euro 2024 | #NwokeukwuMascot


…Saka, Musiala, Eze, and Other Footballers of Nigerian Origin at Euro 2024 | #NwokeukwuMascot

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The UEFA European Championship, commonly known as the Euros, is one of the most highly anticipated football tournaments globally, showcasing some of the sport's finest talents. Among these exceptional players are several of Nigerian descent, representing various European nations with pride and distinction.

Bukayo Saka (England):

Bukayo Saka, the dynamic winger from Arsenal, has been an integral part of the England national team since his debut in 2020. Born to Nigerian parents, Saka’s versatility, creativity, and technical skill have secured his spot in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2024. Despite playing for England, Saka remains deeply connected to his Nigerian heritage. “I feel like I’m really proud of my Nigerian heritage. I always still watch Nigeria’s games where I can, and I wish them all the best and support them all the way,” Saka told SuperSport.

 Jamal Musiala (Germany):

Jamal Musiala, the 21-year-old sensation from Bayern Munich, was selected for Germany’s 26-man squad following a stellar season. Born in Germany to a Nigerian father, Musiala had the option to represent Nigeria but chose to play for Die Mannschaft. Reflecting on his decision, Musiala said, “I could have played for Nigeria because it crossed my mind, and I thought about it well. I had good talks with Nigeria and Germany. So it really just came down to me and where I’d feel the most comfortable. So I decided to go with Germany,” he told UK3.

 Eberechi Eze (England):

Crystal Palace forward Eberechi Eze, born in London to Nigerian parents, is set to make his tournament debut for England at Euro 2024. Eze had an impressive 2023–24 season, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists. Known for his creativity and skill in navigating tight spaces, Eze is expected to be a significant contributor to England’s midfield.

 Manuel Akanji (Switzerland):

Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji, born in Switzerland to a Swiss mother and a Nigerian father, has represented Switzerland at various levels. Akanji played a crucial role in helping Pep Guardiola’s side secure their fourth consecutive Premier League title. His defensive prowess and ball-playing abilities will be vital for Switzerland’s aspirations at Euro 2024.

Noah Okafor (Switzerland):

Like Akanji, Noah Okafor has Nigerian roots through his father and Swiss heritage through his mother. The AC Milan forward, who joined from RB Salzburg at the start of the 2023–24 season, scored six goals for the Italian giants. Okafor’s agility and knack for scoring pivotal goals make him an essential player for Switzerland, having already earned over 20 caps for the national team.

Michael Folorunsho (Italy):

Michael Folorunsho’s journey from Italy’s lower leagues to Serie A side Hellas Verona has been remarkable. Born in Rome to Nigerian parents, his performances caught the eye of Luciano Spalletti, earning him a spot in Italy’s Euro 2024 squad. Folorunsho made his debut as a second-half substitute in Italy’s opening 2-1 victory over Albania.

 Joshua Zirkzee (Netherlands):

Joshua Zirkzee, the forward who began his career at Feyenoord before moving to Bayern Munich’s youth academy, now plays for Serie A side Bologna. Zirkzee’s contributions were pivotal in helping Bologna qualify for the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history. The 23-year-old, born to a Dutch father and a Nigerian mother, received a last-minute call-up from the Netherlands for Euro 2024, cutting short his holiday in Florida to join the squad.

These players not only bring exceptional talent to their respective teams but also showcase the rich footballing heritage and influence of Nigerian descent on the global stage. Their stories reflect a blend of cultural pride and professional excellence, adding a unique dimension to Euro 2024.


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