31 December 2016
The international Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) has rated Nigeria soccer icon, Kanu Nwankwo as the 38th best world football legend.
The organization responsible for the chronicle of history and records of association football released the list earlier this week.
Brazilian football legend, Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, also known as Pele, tops the list while players like Diego Amando Maradona, Eusebio, Dino Zoff and Luis Chilavert also made the list.
Papillo as he is fondly called around Nigeria has won many accolades in football and this is the latest recognition he’s getting for his contribution to the beautiful game.
Kanu made history by leading the first Dream Team to gold medal at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. Kanu also captained Nigeria’s team to win FIFA U-17 World cup hosted by Japan in 1993.
Even without winning African Cup of Nations, Kanu has been named CAF African footballer of the year twice (1996 and 1999).
On the club scene, Kanu was part of the Ajax team that won the UEFA Champions League in 1995.
His Nigerian Compatriot, Finidi George was also a key member of the team that was managed by Luis Van Gaal.
He also won major honours in Inter Milan, Arsenal and Portsmouth. Kanu was part of the legendary Arsenal’s team that went unbeaten for 49 matches.
Kanu’s list of honors
U-17 World Cup winner – 1993
Uefa Champions League – 1995
Uefa Super Cup – 1995
Uefa Cup – 1998
Dutch League title – 1994, 95, 96
African Footballer of the year – 1996, 1999
English Premier League – 2002, 2004
English FA Cup -2002, 2003, 2008
Olympic Gold- 1996
Kanu is the only Nigerian on the list, which also has six other Africa soccer icons.
Two Egyptians, Mahmoud El-Khatib and Mohamed Aboutrika, an Algerian, Rabah Madjer, Cameroun’s Roger Milla, George Weah of Liberia and Lucas Radebe of South Africa are other Africans on the list.
IFFSH Top 50 list of Legends
RabahMadjer (Algeria) ; Alfredo Stéfano di StéfanoLaulhé and Diego Armando Maradona Franco (Argentina); Edson Arantes do Nascimento (PELE), Garrincha, Ronaldo LuísNazário de Lima (Brazil); Roger Milla (Cameroon) ; HAO HAIDONG, Sun Jihai (China); Mahmoud El-Khatib, Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt) ; Michel Platini, ZinedineYazid Zidane (France); Franz Anton Beckenbauer, GERD MÜLLER, LotharMatthäus (Germany). FerencPuskás (Hungary); BaichungBhutia (India); ALI DAEI (Iran); Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio (Italy); HIDETOSHI NAKATA (Japan); Cha Bum-kun (Korea Rep.); JasemYaqoub Sultan Al-Besara (Kuwait); George Weah(Liberia); Antonio Carbajal, Hugo Sánchez Márquez (Mexico); Hendrik Johannes Cruijff, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit (Netherlands); Wynton Alan WhaiRufer (New Zealand); NwankwoKanu (Nigeria) ; José Luis Félix Chilavert González (Paraguay); Eusébio, Luís Filipe Madeira CaeiroFigo (Portugal); Majed Ahmed Abdullah Al-Mohammed (Saudi Arabia); Francisco Gento (Spain); TanjuÇolak (Turkey); OlehVolodymyrovychBlokhin (Ukraine); Bobby Charlton, David Beckham, STANLEY MATTHEWS (United Kingdom); Juan Alberto Schiaffino (Uruguay); Landon Timothy Donovan (USA); Lucas ValeriuNtubaRadebe (South Africa) ; Ryan Joseph Giggs (Wales).
Author: Timilehin Boyinde
Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.