The lovely game of football is known for its nuances, complexity and many-sided quality, goal scoring is one of few statistics and substantial measurements we can use to rank players in world football.
Players make the cut on recognition simply on the basis of their goal scoring ability, rather than general ability as a footballer. Today we take a look at the ten NPFL goalscorers who have graced the league over the last ten years
10. 2007- AMEH ARUWA– Kaduna united (10 goals)
Ameh Aruwa just like Ike, also scored 10 goals in 2007 season of the Nigerian Premier League for Kaduna united. Enyimba were the champions at the end of that season. Aruwa last played for Bayelsa United in the Nigeria National League. Sadly, he died of unknown causes almost a week after being hospitalised for arm pain in 2011.
9. 2008- ABUBAKAR BABALE- Wikki/Sunshine stars (14 goals)
Babale was the highest goal scorer for the 2008 season, scoring 14 goals two more than his last two predecessors albeit playing for two sides in the course of the season. Kano pillars were the league winners in that year.
8. 2009- OROK AKARANDUT- Akwa united (17 goals)
Orok Akarandut was born March 18, 1987, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He began his career with Akwa United F.C. who in January 2007 was promoted to the Nigerian Premier League. In the 2008/2009 season, he was the League’s top Goalscorer with 17 hits which tied the scoring record as at that time with Bayelsa united taking the league trophy. After this big performance,
After this big performance, Urok left Akwa United to sign with Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 club CS Sfax on 13 July 2009. He later moved to Al Hadd FC of Bahrain 2014, where he currently plays.
7. 2010- AHMED MUSA- Kano Pillars (18 goals)
The Leicester City forward broke the then NPFL scoring record of 17 goals while playing for Kano pillars as a teenager and set a new record which was broken again the next season by Jude Aneke. His exploits were however not enough for pillars to lift the league as Enyimba were leagued winners in 2010.
He moved to VVV Venlo after that season and has so far played for CSKA Moscow in Russia and currently ply trade with 2015/2016 EPL champions Leicester City.
Musa is the first Nigerian to score more than once in a FIFA World Cup match after scoring twice against Argentina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Of all other top scorers in this list, Musa is the only consistent performer in the Super Eagles.
6. 2011- JUDE ANEKE- Kaduna United (20)
In November 2011, Aneke broke the 1-year-old record of Ahmed Musa by scoring his 19th and 20th goal in league play. A week later, he was called up to the national football team to replace an injured Peter Odemwingie.
In 2012, Aneke joined Warri Wolves, before transferring to Al-Masry, of Port Said, Egypt, in August of that year. The 26-year old now plays for current NPFL leaders, Plateau united.
5. 2012- SIBI GWAR- Niger Tornadoes (13 goals)
Currently playing for Shooting Stars sports club of Ibadan, He signed with Niger Tornadoes in 2011 and scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win over his former club Kwara United on May 11. He scored six goals in his first three games with Tornadoes.
Having 13 goals were enough for him to win the highest goals scoring gong in 2012 but not enough for Tornadoes to win the league as Kano Pillars were crown the league champions.
4. 2013- VICTOR NAMO- Nasarawa United (18 goals).
Currently playing for Al Ahly Benghazi In Libya, Namo played for Kano Pillars Football club between 2006-2012 helping the club win its first Nigerian Premier League in 2007-08. He left the club immediately after helping Kano Pillars secure its second League title in the 2011-2012 season before joining Nasarawa United.
In his debut season at Nasarawa United, he did what he knew best which is finding the back of the net and finished the season as top scorer in the league with 19 goals. In January 2014, Namo left Nigeria for Libyan Premier League giants Al Ahly Benghazi.
3. 2014- MFON UDOH- Enyimba (24 goals)
The people’s elephants skipper holds the record for the highest league goals in a single NPFL season after he scored 24 goals for Enyimba in 2014 when they finished second behind Kano pillars in the league while winning the Federation cup.
He scored a total of 6 braces throughout the campaign, including in the last game against Kano Pillars to extend Enyimba’s unbeaten streak to seven games, ending the season on a high note. At the end of the season, he received the golden boot for NPFL Top Scorer, the award for NPFL Player of the season and the League Bloggers Player of the season.
He is also the first player to score over 35 goals in two consecutive seasons in Nigeria. Between 2012 and 2014, he scored 39 goals in the regular league and 3 in national cup competitions, for a total of 41 goals in 2 seasons.
He was also the highest goalscorer in the 2016 CAF champions league season with 9 goals. He has 2 caps for the national team with just a goal.
2. 2015- GBOLAHAN SALAMI- Warri wolves (17 goals)
Dubbed the Nigerian “Balotelli”, Salami scored 17 goals for Warri wolves to win the highest goal scorer award. He formerly played for Shooting stars of Ibadan and Sunshine stars of Akure.
In January 2015, Salami transferred to Serbian side Red Star Belgrade by signing a loan deal for the remainder of the season, with an option for a permanent deal. He returned to Warri less than two months later when Red Star was having financial problems. He was very close to joining English Premier League club Aston Villa on a trial deal back in April 2015. He now plays for Kuopion Palloseura in Finland. Having 13 caps for the super eagles with less than 5 goals for the team.
1. 2016- GODWIN OBAJE- Wikki Tourist (18goals)
Currently the highest paid player in the Nigerian professional football league on the books of FC Ifeanyi Ubah, he previously played for Wikki tourist in 2016 winning the golden boot with 18goals, leading them to third in the league which earned them a place in the 2017 CAF confederations cup which they have since been knocked out.
Obaje had several failed transfers and trials with some European and African club sides before signing for FCIU. He had been called up to the national team in the past although he is yet to make his debut.