By Fasanmi Abiola
Manchester United will play Villarreal in the Europa League final on Wednesday 26 May at Stadion Miejski in Gdansk, Poland.
Former Super Eagles stars Nwankwo Kanu, Chidi Odiah, Taribo West, John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses remain the Nigerian quintet to have won the competition.
1. Nwankwo Kanu
Kanu became the first African player to win the Champions League and the Europa League when his Inter Milan side defeated Lazio 3-0 in the 1998 final.
The Nigeria superstar had earlier won the UEFA champions league with Ajax Amsterdam, although he was an unused substitute for Inter as they defeated their Serie A rivals.
He would come off the bench in the final two years later as Arsenal were defeated by Galatasaray.
2. Chidi Odiah
Former Super Eagles right wing-back, Chidi Odiah, is the second Nigerian player to win the UEFA Europa League. He became a darling of Russian side CSKA Moscow and played an inherent part to their UEFA Cup success in 2005.
Odiah scored a glorious goal in the 4-0 thrashing of Auxerre in quarter finals as his team went on to the finals to overcome Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon by 3-1.
Odiah made a total of 16 UEFA Cup appearances clocking 1,367 minutes and has 1 goal to his credit.
3. Taribo West
Arguably the most successful centre back Nigeria has had in history, Taribo was also part of Inter Milan’s 1998 Europa League-winning team, which included compatriot Nwankwo Kanu.
He enjoyed a successful start to his career, packed with honours and silverware aplenty. He won the Olympic gold medal with Nigeria, and also featured for the Super Eagles at two World Cups.
Taribo made a total of 12 UEFA Cup appearances clocking 1,034 minutes scoring 2 goals despite playing as a defender.
4. Mikel Obi
He was one of only two African players to have won Europe’s top two continental club competitions when he was part of Chelsea’s Europa League-winning team in 2013.
He won the Europa League with Chelsea in 2013. He was an unused substitute as the Blues defeated Benfica 2-1 in Amsterdam.
Mikel, the year before, played for Chelsea in the 2012 final of the UEFA Champions League in Munich, which they won after defeating Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
The Nigeria international enjoyed over a decade of service for Chelsea, He currently plays for Stoke City.
5. Victor Moses
Victor Moses was a member of Chelsea’s Europa League-winning team in 2013, less than a year after signing for the club, playing 10 games and scoring five for the West Londoners en route to the title.
Moses established himself at Chelsea in the 2016-17 season when he became a key figure in Antonio Conte’s first team as the Blues won the Premier League title before he was sent out on loan after the manager’s departure.
Moses won the Europa League twice with English Premier League side, Chelsea, in the 2012/13 and 2018/19 seasons.