Since Nigeria won its independence from Great Britain in 1960, the fledgling Super Eagles have gone from strength to strength.
Nigeria waited until the '70s before clearly putting their footballing credentials on the map. Success at the international level quickly followed, and with their rise in to an African footballing powerhouse they have produced some of Africa's and the World's finest players.
Appearances in three of the last four World Cups, and two wins in the Africa Cup of Nations and an Olympic gold, and silver medals to their credit the Super Eagles players have shown their abilities on some of the biggest footballing tournaments in the world, but who are the Super Eagles best ever players?
Mikel John Obi was only 15 when he made his debut for Plateau United in 2003, and representing Nigeria in the World Under-17 youth tournament in Finland.
After the tournament he moved to South Africa to play for Ajax of Capetown, before representing Nigeria again in the World Under20 championships.
This time however, with excellent results. The Young Eagles reaching the final, but losing out to Argentina 2-1, with Obi winning the tournament's silver ball as the second best player at the tournament.
After the competition he moved again, but this time to Europe with Lyn Oslo, where he made only six starts before a controversial but lucrative move to Chelsea in the Premier League, at the tender age of 18.
Since signing for Chelsea he has gone on to be an integral part of the Blues team that have been a major force in European football. Winning the Premier League in 2009–10, FA Cup: 2006–07, 2008–09, and 2009–10, the League Cup in 2006–07, and the FA Community Shield in 2009.
He has also win the African Young Player of the Year for 2005, and 2006, and the Chelsea Young Player of the Year in 2007, and 2008.
Career-2005–Present. Appearances-15, Goals-1
The "Yak" came to prominence during his time in Israel with Maccabi Haifa, which earned him a loan spell with Dynamo Kiev before a move to Portsmouth, where he scored 29 Premier League goals in just 68 games. This was after helping Pompey achieve promotion from the Championship.
The one-man goal machine hasn't stopped, with the 86 goals coming ever since for Pompey, Middlesbrough, and Everton over the last seven years—including runner-up medals in the FA and UEFA Cups.
Career-2000–Present Appearances-52 Goals-19
It is unsure what he will be best remembered for, his unforgettable haircuts or his ability on the football pitch. West came to prominence with Auxerre, in France, before he joined Derby County in 2000 after spells with both the Milan giants.
The flamboyant West was a character on and off the field, as a defender he was capped 41 times by the Nigeria national team and played in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup, he was also a member of the Nigerian team that won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Career-1994–2005 Appearances-41 Goals-0
Barcelona spent £2.2m to bring Amuneke to the Camp Nou from Sporting Lisbon in 1996. Unfortunately for Amuneke, injuries prevented him from fulfilling his true potential. However, the diminutive Nigerian winger is still fondly remembered for his big talent.
The fleet-footed midfielder was restricted to only 19 appearances for the Spanish giants before moving to Albacete in 2000 before seeing out his career in Jordan. Currently manager of Nigeria's Ocean Boys club.
Career-1993–2001 Appearances-40 Goals-8
Amokachi was signed by Everton, in the summer of 1994 after a successful wonderful World Cup in the US. Everton manager Mike Walker spent £3m to bring the big striker from Belgium club Brugge.
However, despite some cracking goals, he failed to hit the heights in the Premier League, but he was a key part in helping the Toffees lift the FA Cup in 1995 after his brace against Spurs in the semifinal.
A real personality off the pitch, he had his own jet for a time. He was part of the team that participated in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. He helped Nigeria lift the 1994 African Cup of Nations, as well as the Olympic gold in 1996 after beating Argentina in the final.
Career-1990–1999, Appearances-42, Goals-14
With two World Cups, USA 1994 and France 1998, George enjoyed a stellar playing career in Europe after moving from Nigerian club Sharks, to Ajax of Amsterdam in Holland. The 6'3" winger scored 18 goals in 85 league appearances for the famous Dutch club.
His spell in England with Ipswich Town may not be regarded as a success but his sublime chip shot to end an exquisite team effort during the 5-0 hammering of Sunderland in 2001.
Career-1991–2002, Appearances-62, Goals-8
The no nonsense central midfielder enjoyed a good period of successful in the '90s with Ajax, Borussia Dortmund, and Juventus in an illustrious career that spanned ten clubs over 18 years in five different countries.
Oliseh made his reputation in the World Cups of 1994 and 1998, but will be forever remembered for his remarkable winning goal in Nigeria's stunning victory over Spain in the 1998 France World Cup, where the Super Eagles overcame one of the tournament's favorites in a shock 3-2 victory.
Career-1993–2002, Appearances-63, Goals-4
Yekini was a prolific goal scorer, becoming the leading goal scorer in the Portuguese's League with 34 goals in 32 appearances for Vitória Setúbal, in the1993–94 season. The Nigerian striker bagged goals and broke records consistently during his 24-year career.
His remarkable 37 goals in only 70 appearances is still a record for the Super Eagles, a record that will be very difficult to be broken.
He scored Nigeria's first World Cup goal, and also helped Nigeria win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, unsurprisingly he ended as the tournament's top goalscorer.
Career-1986–1998, Appearances-70, Goals-37
Kanu's European footballing exodus has spanned 18 glorious years, a period that has seen him become the most decorated African footballer in history.
He is a Champions League and UEFA Cup winner, with Ajax and Internazionale respectively, to go with his two Premier League titles and three FA Cup winners' medals.
He has been honored as the African Footballer of the Year on two occasions, in 1996, and 1999. His former club Arsenal, voted him as their 13th greatest Gunner of all time.
Career-1994–Present, Appearances-82, Goals-13
The fresh faced, 20-year-old Okocha made his reputation off his World Cup exploits in 1994.
Okocha has missed just one of Nigeria's 11 games during the three World Cups he played in. In the first game of the 1994 tournament, Nigeria notched a 3-0 victory over Bulgaria.
Okocha demonstrated his phenomenal footballing talents on the World Cup stage in the United States '94, France '98 (where he captained his nation) and Japan/South Korea '02.
Okocha's silky smooth skills, and natural flair, made him a true World Cup great. He took Nigeria to the second round in the '94 and '98 tournaments.
Okocha finished second in the African Player of Year award twice, becoming arguably the best player never to win the award.
He did win the inaugural BBC African Footballer of the Year trophy. He later became the only player to retain the award.
In 2004, Pele listed Okocha in his list of the greatest 125 living players of all time. Okocha was voted the 12th greatest African footballers of the past 50 years in 2007.
Segun Odegbami, Henry Nwosu, Christian Chukwu, Nicholas Ukadike, Peter Rufai, Mudashiru Lawal, Stephen Keshi, Uche Okechukwu, Benedict Iroha, Joseph Yobo, Victor Anichebe