By Ademola Akanni
No Nigerian footballer was listed in the 100 Greatest Football Players of the 21st Century compiled by the Independent newspaper of London, reports The Gazelle News.com.
In the list published recently, only four African players were named: Samuel Eto’o of Cameroun, the highest ranked African at 21; Didier Drogba of Cote D’Ivoire who was 49; Mohammed Sallah of Egypt, ranked 77; and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon who came in at 87.
Lionel Messi of Argentina was named the greatest player of the 21st Century. He was followed by the Portuguese football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Xavi Hernandez of Spain who was ranked third. Ronaldinho of Brazil was ranked fourth while another Spanish and Barcelona great, Andres Iniesta was ranked fifth and Ronaldo De Lima of Brazil was ranked sixth. Thierry Henry of France was named the seventh greatest player of the 21st Century, followed by another French player and current Real Madrid coach, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka of Brazil was named 9th best and Italian Fabio Cannavaro competed the top 10.
There was no room for any English or German player in the top 10. Philip Lahm was the highest ranked German at 14 while Steven Gerrard was the highest ranked English player at 18. Brazil and Spain dominated the top 20 with four players each while dominated the whole list with 14 players listed in the top 100.
England and Italy have eight players each in the list, the quartet of Brazil, Argentina, Holland and France had seven players each while Germany had six players.