Football is a game of numbers, all across the world, cognizance is given to statistics and not only statistics but indeed numbers in terms of players’ age.
In Europe, Brazilian Vinicius Junior has just been called up to the Brazil national team at the tender age of 18, Poland‘s Krystof Piatek at a tender age is in a form even long experienced players would dream of.
Kylian Mbappe, at the age of 20 has broken records in the Ligue 1 and Champions League with AS Monaco and PSG.
In Nigeria, young talents have been exported to European leagues since times past and the talents still abound in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
So, with that knowledge in mind, we’ve decided to profile Top 5 U-20 stars in the NPFL we expect to become recognized globally, as bright young prospects in the NPFL 2018/2019 abridged season
- Olakunle Olusegun
The Ilorin side have a rare gem in their hands, Segun was the captain of the ABS u15 team that won the maiden NPFL/La Liga u15 championship two years ago.
He is now a major part of the Nigerian u17 team as they won the Wafu u17 championship last year thus qualifying for the CAF U17 nations cup later this year in Tanzania.
- Jatto Benjamin
Club: Wikki Tourist
A lad who caught the eye of Wikki tourist coach Aliyu Zubairu during the preseason games is now part of the Bauchi based side.
Although, it must be said that he is yet to light up the league as expected but he definitely has the potential to be a big star in the coming seasons.
- Ayo Adebuju
Age: 14 years
Club: Sunshine Stars
Not much is known about the player and not many have big expectations from him but for Kabir Dogo, manager of the Akure Gunners to have handed the fourteen-year-old his debut in the match against Katsina United in one of the Matchday 8 encounters underlines his hidden talents.
The youngster is arguably one of the youngest players if not the youngest to have played in the NPFL. However, it will take a lot of hard work and tangible exploits in the league before he can be taken seriously.
- Samuel Nnoshiri
Age: 17 years
The teenage sensation who burst Into the NPFL scene in February with a goal against Nasarawa United on Matchday 3 and an assist got listed for the league bloggers award for the month.
He was acquired from ASJ Academy after a friendly game between the academy and Heartland convinced coach of the Owerri based side, Ransom Madu of his abilities albeit amidst criticism from fans of the Naze Millionaires.
However, after impressive showings by the youngster in NPFL matches, he has become the toast of heartland fans and has been penned down for the u20 side, the flying eagles.
- Ikowuem Utin
Ikowuem is already a household name for ardent followers of the Nigeria Professional Football League.
The young star, a wing-back for the People’s Elephant have been a mainstay in the Enyimba team, getting heavily involved as the team made an impressive run to the semi-finals of the CAF Confederations Cup in 2017/2018 season.
His performances earned him a place in the U20 team captaining the side to a fourth-place finish at the 2019 CAF U20 championship.
With his defensive colleague, Valentine Ozonwarfor who was who was also at the CAF U20 championship Making the recent National team list for the games against Seychelles and Egypt, it’s just a matter of time before Utin gets his own call up too.
- Valentine Ozonwarfor
Another defender on the books of Enyimba FC already making his mark after making the team of the tournament at the CAF U20 championship in Niger alongside teammate Ikowuem Utin.
His exploits didn’t go unnoticed as the coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr has handed him his maiden call up to the national team. With another appearance at the world scene for the FIFA U20 World cup looming, the youngster may just be getting started.
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Top 10 Football Dribblers Of All Time
The beautiful game of football is arguably the only sport that entertains its fans with the opportunity to witness a genuine instance of sheer genius with a series of beautiful nutmegs. The display of skills, footwork, eye-catching dribbles by different players makes the game more entertaining.
A lot of players around the world can dribble, go past a defender with a single flick and pace. However, good dribblers can be considered as one of the most important key players of a team, as they can unlock any kind of defense.
There are tons of Football dribblers, but only the best have made it onto the CheapGoals list.
10. Roberto Rivelino
Rivelino’s magic with the ball was unbelievable, doing things nobody ever has or will do on a football pitch, and also had a quality of certainty about himself when he was on the ball.
He would not only wind past his opponents but also mortify them and smash defenders’ confidence. Sudden speeding up, various body bluffs would see him outfox defenders on numerous occasions, as some would say Garrincha made the ball talk to his feet.
Other than being authoritatively one of the best footballers to ever graced the beautiful game and lived with three World Cup medals, this iconic Brazilian player was incredible at dribbling. Being able to control the ball in front of defenders and going past them with ease and confidence is something an aspiring footballer would dream of.
8. George Best
Undoubtedly one of England’s greatest players, having scored 137 goals in 361 appearances for Manchester United in a career that spread over more than a decade for the Red Devils. He had the confidence to make use of the ball within and outside of his boot so well that he could cut around players quickly and easily.
De Lima is known for dribbling past defenders and after that going ahead to score a goal. only a few players have aced the popular ‘step over’ dribble as Ronaldo always proved to be a match-winner time over time with his solo dribbles.
6. Johan Cruyff
One of Cruyff’s best abilities was that he had the ability to recognize any weakness and shortcoming in a defender. Like De-lima, he had a move named after him called “The Cruyff Turn”. It would appear as though he was passing the ball to a teammate but instead to kick the ball, he would turn 90 degrees and drag the ball within his foot behind his back leg. This sudden 90-degree move always left the opponent over to the cleaners.
Talking about football dribblers, Garrincha compared to Pele was generally viewed as the best dribbler ever. His extraordinary speed combined with his stunning ball control always leaves defenders powerless, and unfit to deal with his mesmerizing dribbles. At just 5ft 6inches Garrincha’s low center of gravity helped him weave around opponents effortlessly.
4. Diego Maradona
Maradona uses a style of dribbling called “Gambetta” in which he would use his body position to trick into going the wrong way.
Maradona is an impudent, supreme football dribbler – who uses his small stature to make an extraordinary impact which made him one of the best dribblers in football. His strength and control made it difficult to knock him off the ball.
Considered by many as a standout amongst one of the most skillful players in football, he was commended for his abilities and inventiveness. only if his prime had lasted longer, he may very well have been crowned with Ballon d’Or but Okocha is one of the best football dribblers. Be that as it may, it always a joy to watch the Nigerian dazzle on the football pitch.
The former PSG forward and Brazil legend came into the limelight amid his time with Barcelona scoring 70 goals in 145 caps for the club. Dinho brought his mesmerizing pattern of football from the streets of Brazil onto the world stage, and defenders couldn’t deal with his skills and frills.
Every little thing about him appeared to be so superb. From his sly bluffs to his sudden change in increasing speed, all that he did was accompanied by a smile all over his face. His most popular trick was ‘Snake Bite’ where he would trick defenders by pushing the ball sideways, however, all of a sudden pulling the ball back the other way. He is considered one of the best football dribblers.
Having for all intents and purposes wins everything minus a World Cup, the four-time Balon d’Or winner is magnificently unstoppable on his day. The Barcelona forward has scored lots of stunning goals, beating three, four, even five players before firing it in the back of the net.
Mathias Sindelar, Zinedine Zidane, Micheal Laudrup, Adama Toure, Magico Gonzalez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Ariel Ortega, Eden Hazard,Dennis Bergkamp.
This is CheapGoal’s top 10 football dribblers, if any of our loving readers feel otherwise or have their preferred special list, pls don’t hesitate to drop and comment…