In our Article for the week, we take a look at some promising Nigerian footballers who looked good at the start of their career but never lived up to expectations.

1. HARUNA BABAGINDA:

FC Barcelona's second youngest ever debutant was a player you would definitely pay to watch. Haruna Babangida played with football Elites such as Pepe Reina, Victor Valdes, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol. He signed for the Blaugrana at the age of 14 and made his senior debut at the age of 15.Arsenal's boss and Former Team Mate, Mikel Arteta tagged the youngster as the best player in the world aged 15. 


“In our dorms at Barcelona, we had Pepe Reina, Victor Valdes, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol. But I remember there was this boy called Haruna Babangida."
"Wow! at 15, he was the best player in the world,” Arteta told TheAthletic.com in an exclusive interview.




 Haruna Babangida never lived up to expectations compared to the Aforementioned football Legends who shared the same dressing room with him of which he was the best amongst the lot. Haruna never had a breakthrough season with the Blaugrana as he spent his six years with Barcelona youth team. Haruna Babangida career went down the drain as he was never heard of ever since leaving spain, Haruna went on to feature for 13 teams in 15 years.

2. EJIKE UZOENYI

2013 AFCON winner and CHAN Tournament 2014 Most Valuable Player was a talent to behold. Ejike Announced himself to African football with a blistering performance at the 2014 African Championship(CHAN). Many would have thought Uzoenyi would have had a blissful career but things never went as he would have planned. 


The former Enyimba Man is well decorated with a couple of trophies he won with some of his former club sides with no meaningful contributions to the teams. Ejike featured for six teams across 4 years from 2013-2017 outside the shores of Nigeria scoring once in 19 appearances. The left winger was without a club from 2017-2019. He returned back to football in 2020 with Zvijezda 09 in the Bosnian Premier league.




3. MACAULEY CHRISANTUS

The 2007 FIFA U-17 golden boot and silver Ball winner Failed to replicate his tremendous performance with the Golden Eaglet for the teams he signed for in Europe. Macauley was projected to fame for his performance at the FIFA U-17 tournament in 2007 which had eventual Golden Ball winner, Toni Kroos in appearance.


After the tournament, a couple of teams were lined up for the Talented forward signature including German side Hamburger which he eventually signed for. His Move to Hamburger might be a regretful one for the forward as he never established his foot with the team and was sent on loan a couple of times. The downfall of Chrisantus Macauley can well be seen as he had so far featured for 13 teams in 12 years. Currently, he plays fo Hetten FC in Saudi Arabia.





4. SANNI EMMANUEL 

Another U-17 Talent who made our list is the 2009 golden ball and bronze boot winner, Sanni Emmanuel. The Forward gained global recognition at the tournament held in Nigeria. scoring 5 goals in 5 appearances. Just like every other players who have rised through the ranks of the U-17 Tournament. Emmanuel Sanni had some teams willing to have a contract with him. Sanni secured a move to Lazio in the Italian league, where he spent 4 years with the team of which the first 2 years was with the Youth team of Lazio scoring 18 goals in 35 appearances.



The forward never really featured for the first team of lazio before being released out on loan to FC Biel-Bienne in the Swiss league after-which he made a move to Israel and Sweden as well. Going by the records, the forward has featured for 4 teams in 3 years from 2012-2015. Emmanuel Sanni later went on trial to Bosnia but failed in his attempt. Since then,the forward is yet to feature for any team and had his career prematurely Ended by a long term injury which needed surgery. In 2019, Super Eagles Midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi released 4,000 USD (1.4 Million Naira) For Sanni Emmanuel to Undergo a surgery and Probably return back to Football.

There you have it! Which of them had the most disappointing Career, Share your Opinions in the Comment Section Below.