For a nation that has produced so much sublime footballing talent, Nigerians have made a relatively small impact in La Liga. While Malians and Cameroonians have thrived in Spain, Nigerians and Ghanaians have tended to gravitate to other major European leagues.
Finidi George found fame elsewhere as well, namely in the Netherlands with Ajax, where he won three Dutch titles and a Champions League, but he spent some of his peak years in Spain.
Initially, he had intended to move to Real Madrid, but when that didn’t work out he headed to Real Betis.
Many a fine winger has floundered in Andalusia (see de Oliveira, Denilson) but Finidi did not.
He scored an admirable 38 goals in 130 league appearances for the club and helped the Seville-based side to a Copa del Rey final and to fourth place in La Liga.
He also stuck with the side following their 2000 relegation.
In truth, regardless of the honours or the statistics, it’s hard not to make an impact if you can dribble and move as well as Finidi.