Overview Of: The Best Three Nigerian Footballers To Have Played For Chelsea
Chelsea are in the Champions League final for the third time. They will play Manchester City in the final on May 29th in Istanbul.
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This time, though, their side will feature no Nigerian players in their line-up.
This in contrast to their two previous appearances in the final of the competition – in 2008, when the lost another Premier League clash to Manchester United on penalties, and, four years later, when they lifted the trophy, beating Bayern Munich, again after spot kicks.
In the 2008 final played in Moscow, midfielder John Obi Mikel was an unused substitute. But four years later, Mikel anchored the midfielder as his side claimed a victory against the odds in Munich’s own Allianz Arena.
Mikel began his professional career in Norway with Lyn, before he became the subject of a tug of war transfer battle.
First Manchester United claimed that they had struck a deal with Lyn to sign the player, only for Chelsea to announce they had an agreement in place with the player and his agent. After months of wrangling, he moved to West London, and became one of the stalwarts of the Chelsea team for the next decade, making 372 appearances in all. He only ever scored 9 goals in a blue shirt, but that was never his primary responsibility a defensive midfielder.
By the time he left Chelsea he had won the Premier League twice, the FA Cup on three occasions, and the League Cup and the Europa League once, as well as owning that Champions League winners’ medal.
Before Mikel joined Chelsea, a familiar player in their side for several years was Celestine Babayaro, who featured both as a left-back and also on the left side of midfield.
He began playing in Nigeria via local side Plateau United, before making the journey to Europe, where he signed for the Belgian team Anderlecht. Chelsea paid a club record, at the time, for a teenager to bring him to Stamford Bridge, and he would go on to play for them for none seasons, although he fell out of favour during his later years with the club.
Celestine Babayaro won the FA Cup, and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup during his time with Chelsea.
Technically Victor Moses is still a Chelsea player because he is under contract until June 2022, although he has not played for them since leaving on loan, first to Fenerbahçe in Turkey and then subsequently Inter Milan and Spartak Moscow.
His most successful period in a Chelsea shirt was when he was deployed. In a right wing back role when Antonio Conte was in charge of the club, often getting forward to supplement the attack.
He won the league in 2017, the FA Cup the year later, and picked up two UEFA Cups as well with the Blues.
Moses is one of the few men who holds the dubious distinction of being sent off in an FA Cup Final, after getting a second yellow for simulation against Arsenal in 2017.