Football remains one of the most popular sports in the world. In Nigeria, football has a huge following and it is passionately discussed in every nooks and crannies of the country.
One common trend in football development is the input of football families to the development of football in the country. Beginning from the early 1960’s till date, there has been a well documented contingent of football families plying their trade in various countries of the world, but putting all their resources together to ensure the success of the National team of the most populous country in Africa.
Football families have brought glamor to the game in Nigeria, with some even adorning the green and white color of the national flag in their hair style. Some of the other positives coming from football families in Nigeria include:
- Increased awareness of the game
- Adding value to the game
There has been a meteoric rise in football popularity, especially when two brothers are playing in the same national team. Sports analyst help to increase this awareness as they tend to isolate football brothers before a major game and analyze the possibility of both starting a particular game.
More value was attached to the game of football in Nigeria when blood related brothers were representing the country at major events. This helped to lift the game to a different level and increased the sales of match tickets at match venues. Television commentator had a horrid time during a World Cup qualifying match between Sierra Leone and Nigeria at the Free town stadium, when both teams had four sets of brothers all bearing the name Kanu. On parade for Nigeria at that crucial encounter were Nwankwo Kanu and Ogbonnaya Kanu.
Below is a list of Top 20 football families that have played for the National team in the past 50 years.
- Patrick Okala, Emmanuel Okala
- Cyril Okosieme, Ndubuisi Okosieme, Nkiru Okosieme:
- Emmanuel Amuneke, Kevin Onyekachi Amuneke, Kingsley Amuneke
- Sunday Oliseh, Azubuike Oliseh
- Albert Yobo, Joseph Yobo
- Dickson Paul Etuhu, Kelvin Etuhu
- Kalu Uche, Ikechukwu Uche
- Celestine Babayaro, Emmanuel Babayaro
- Nwankwo Kanu, Christopher Ogbonnaya Kanu
- Tijani Babangida, Ibrahim Babangida, Haruna Babangida
- Efe Sodje, Sam Sodje, Akpo Sodje, Onome Sodje
- Emma Okocha,Austin Okocha
- Clement Temile, Omonigho Temile, Frank Temile
- Willy Bazuaye, Baudwin Bazuaye, Daddy Bazuaye
- Wilson Oruma, Dominic Oruma, Johnson Oruma
- Tarila Okorowanta, Bernard Okorowanta
- Emeka Onyedika, Ifeanyi Onyedika
- Wole Odegbami, Segun Odegbami
- Femi Olukanmi, Segun Olukanmi
- John Utaka, Peter Utaka
The above rating is not based on any particular criteria, and the duo of Ikechukwu Uche and Kalu Uche are the only active brothers presently playing for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.