Which Nigerian players won a league title in 2023/24?

The 2023/2024 football season has drawn to a close for most leagues, with some nail-biting title races settled and trophies lifted.

This year, Nigerian players once again made their mark on the continental stage, contributing significantly to their respective clubs' championship victories. From established stars to exciting youngsters, these Nigerians played a pivotal role in securing league titles across the World.

Afrik-Foot takes you into the impressive achievements of Nigerian players who were part of title-winning teams this season. We'll explore the impact of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho at Leicester City, the heroics of Peter Olayinka in leading Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) to their tenth league title, and the breakout seasons of youngsters like Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella in Germany. 

William Troost-Ekong (PAOK Salonica) – Greek Super League

Leading the charge is Super Eagles captain, William Troost-Ekong, who hoisted the Greek Super League trophy with PAOK Salonica. PAOK secured their fourth league title with a dramatic 2-1 away victory over Aris on Sunday night. This triumph marked a significant milestone for Troost-Ekong, as it represents his first major honor at club level.

Despite recently returning from surgery following the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Troost-Ekong's impact was undeniable. The 30-year-old defender played a crucial role in solidifying PAOK's backline, contributing to an impressive 7 clean sheets in his 10 league appearances during the season

Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen) – German Bundesliga 

Nigerian striker Victor Boniface has become a household name in Germany this season. His contributions have been nothing short of phenomenal, playing a key role in Bayer Leverkusen's remarkable achievements:

Neverlusen, as they are fondly called, completed a historic feat – an entire Bundesliga season without a single defeat. This accomplishment included 28 wins and 6 draws across their 34 matches in the top flight.

Leverkusen showcased their attacking prowess, scoring a staggering 89 goals in the Bundesliga. Boniface himself played a significant part in this offensive dominance.

Boniface's individual brilliance was recognised as he secured the coveted Bundesliga Rookie of the Season award. This accolade caps off a dream debut campaign for the 23-year-old striker.

Nigerian players who won league title in 2023/24
Photo by Icon Sport

While his 14 goals and 9 assists in 23 appearances are impressive statistics, Boniface's impact goes deeper. His versatility on the pitch and his ability to create opportunities for his teammates have been invaluable assets for Leverkusen.

Boniface's consistent performances have been instrumental in propelling Leverkusen to numerous victories throughout the season. His attacking prowess and creative spark were central to their historic unbeaten run and ongoing treble chase.

Victor Boniface has emerged as one of the Bundesliga's brightest young talents. His contributions this season have been a major factor in Leverkusen's success, and the future looks incredibly promising for this rising Nigerian star.

Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen) – German Bundesliga

While Victor Boniface stole the headlines with his Rookie of the Year award, fellow Nigerian Nathan Tella shouldn't be overlooked. Tella has become a valuable asset for Bayer Leverkusen under manager Xabi Alonso, proving his versatility and adaptability throughout the club's historic unbeaten season.

Tella's impact extends beyond a single position. He's been deployed strategically by Alonso, demonstrating his effectiveness as an attacking midfielder, right midfielder, right winger, and even left winger. This tactical flexibility has added depth and unpredictability to Leverkusen's attacking approach.

Nigerian players who won league title in 2023/24
Photo by Icon Sport

Across 24 league appearances, Tella has directly contributed to nine goals, scoring five himself and providing four assists. These numbers showcase his ability to not only find the net but also create opportunities for his teammates.

While Boniface spearheaded Leverkusen's attack, Tella provided excellent support with his versatility and creative spark. Their combined efforts, alongside the rest of the squad, were instrumental in the team's unbeaten run and ongoing treble chase.

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) – Sky Bet Championship

In England's Championship, Leicester City, spearheaded by Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, secured a dominant return to the Premier League. The Foxes, under manager Enzo Maresca, clinched the title with an impressive 97 points from 46 games, edging out second-placed Ipswich Town.

Ndidi, despite missing 14 games due to injuries, remained a crucial figure for Leicester. Maresca's tactical innovation saw him deploy Ndidi in a more advanced midfield role, a change that unlocked the Nigerian's attacking potential. Ndidi's impressive response yielded a remarkable return of 6 goals and 6 assists across all competitions.

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) – Sky Bet Championship

While teammate Kelechi Iheanacho‘s season wasn't defined by a starting role, his contributions to Leicester's title run shouldn't be overlooked. Facing stiff competition from established strikers Patson Daka and Jamie Vardy, Iheanacho's playing time was limited.

Despite this, he featured in 26 games across all competitions, chipping in with 5 goals and 6 assists. His experience and ability to make an impact as a substitute undoubtedly played a part in Leicester's Championship triumph.

Peter Olayinka (Red Star Belgrade) – Serbian Superliga

Adding to the list of Nigerian champions is forward Peter Olayinka, who clinched the Serbian Superliga title with Red Star Belgrade. Olayinka, who arrived from Slavia Prague in July 2023, played a key role in Red Star's success. The versatile attacker, comfortable on the wing or upfront, contributed directly to 12 goals (8 goals, 4 assists) in his 29 league appearances. 

Notably, his goal in the crucial 2-1 victory over TSC in the Championship Round proved instrumental in securing the title ahead of city rivals Partizan Belgrade. This marks Olayinka's first league title with Red Star Belgrade.

Ebenezer Akinsanmiro (Inter Milan) – Italian Serie A

Even among established stars, youngsters are making their mark. Nigerian teenager Ebenezer Akinsanmiro secured a Serie A title medal in his first season with Inter Milan. Akinsanmiro's contributions came primarily through his impressive performances for Inter's Primavera 1 squad, where he notched 5 goals and 2 assists in 22 games. 

He also received a taste of first-team action, making his Serie A debut in February against Lecce and finding himself on the bench for several other matches. This Serie A title win marks a promising start to Akinsanmiro's professional career in Italy.

Milan vs Inter: Nigerian teenage sensation Akinsanmiro wins Serie A title
Photo by Icon Sport

Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge) – Belgian Pro League

Nigerian midfielder Raphael Onyedika can finally celebrate his first league title after Club Brugge secured the Belgian Pro League championship on May 26th, 2024. This title win marks a significant milestone in the 23-year-old's career, having narrowly missed out on the trophy in his debut season with the club.

Onyedika joined Club Brugge in August 2022 after two seasons honing his skills at Danish giants FC Midtjylland. While his time at Midtjylland yielded a Danish Cup title, league success remained elusive.

Determined to add a league trophy to his collection, Onyedika put in a strong showing for Club Brugge throughout the 2023-24 season. He featured prominently, making a total of 30 league appearances and adding three valuable goals to the team's tally.

Raphael Onyedika: Super Eagles midfielder wins Belgian league with Club Brugge
Photo by Icon Sport

However, Onyedika and Club Brugge fell short in his first season at the club, finishing fourth in the Championship playoffs. This year, however, their hard work paid off. Under manager Nicky Hayen, Club Brugge emerged victorious, edging out Union St. Gilloise by a single point (50 points to 49) to claim the coveted Belgian Pro League title

Other Nigerian players who won a league title this season

It's also worth recognizing the achievements of several other Nigerians who clinched league titles across the World:

  • Fawaz Abdullahi (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus)
  • Victor Oluyemi Olatinji (Sparta Prague, Czechia)
  • Samson Bolaji Ajayi (Lincoln Red Imps, Gibraltar)
  • Anderson Esiti & Tosin Kehinde (Ferencvaros, Hungary)
  • Evo Christ Ememe & Peter Onyekachi (Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Israeli National League)
  • Dinopeter Jude Airaodion (Al Nasr, Libya)
  • Hamza Muhammad Sani (Hamrun Spartans, Malta)
  • Hogan Ukpa Effiong (Struga T&L, North Macedonia)
  • Elvis Isaac (Slovan Bratislava, Slovakia)
  • Stephen Adayilo Daniel (Komárno, Slovakia 2 Liga)
  • Sunday Adetunji (Celje, Slovenia)
  • Francis Ezeh & Toheeb Lawal (Eyupspor, Turkey 1. Lig)

These players have all made their mark on their respective leagues, and their contributions deserve applause.

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Toyosi Afolayan

Toyosi Afolayan is a sports journalist who breathes life into the games we love. He loves to combine insightful analysis with historical background, creating a richer understanding of sports. Afolayan's expertise ranges from captivating narratives to live broadcasts, captivating audiences across platforms like Ojbsport, AllNigeriaSoccer, TVC Entertainment, Bounce Networks, Kwara TV, ICIR, EaglesTracker, and NFF TV. His background in History and International Studies adds depth, revealing the connections between sports, politics, and national identity.