Team titles more important than individual accolades’ were the exact words of Lionel Messi after his former side Barcelona lost the title to then Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid.
A few forwards actually see the prize of the golden boot as an additional feather to their cap, and some players trying to play the “humility card” even downplay the importance of these awards, but you can surely place a bet that every attacking player who has the responsibility of finding the back of the net have their sight set on this prize.
The ‘Pichichi’ as it is referred to in Spain is an award that proportionately transcends to a rise in the player’s stock. Every player that has won the award for the top scorer in their respective leagues has seen their stock rise. A few names like David Guiza with Mallorca, Cristiano Ronaldo with Manchester United, Lionel Messi with Barcelona, and even the Nigerian duo of Cyril Dessers and Paul Onuachu, who picked up the much-coveted topscorer award, did see their stock rise — though a few failed to hit the standard the media had set for them.
Walking you down memory lane, we will be streamlining you to a list of Nigerian players that once tasted the euphoria that comes with winning the prize of the golden boot in the major leagues in Europe.
The Super Eagles striker had a record-breaking 2020/2021 season, a season that saw him eventually smash many records and also saw him win the Golden Boot for the Belgian Pro League. With a staggering 33 goals in 38 games.
2. Yusuf Otubanjo:
Known by a few of the Nigerian public, the former Nigerian Under-17 striker etched his name in glory, when he picked up the Golden Boot prize in the Armenian league for the 2020/2021 season. This he was able to achieve while donning the shirt of Ararat-Armenia.
3. Rashidi Yekini:
The legendary goal father of Portuguese side Viktoria Setubal, also makes our list of Nigerians to have clinched the golden boot prize in the major leagues in Europe. He picked up this prize in 1994 after scoring 21 goals in 28 games for the Portuguese club.
4. Cyriel Kolawole Dessers:
Now with Italian Serie a side Cremonese, the Nigerian forward announced himself in style to Europe when he picked up the top scorer award in the Eredivisie, he remains the only Nigerian to have picked up the Dutch award.
5. Joseph Eneojo Akpala:
The Fondest memory of the ex-super Eagles international for many was the goal he scored against the French national team in the friendly in 2008.
The then Sporting Charleroi. Forward also makes the list of Nigerians to have picked up a Golden Boot in the major leagues in Europe. A feat he achieved in Belgium after scoring 18 goals for Charleroi.
6. Tosin Dosunmu:
The high-flying forward was the pioneer of the golden boot odyssey of Nigerians in Belgium. Leaving his mark on the Belgian league by becoming top scorer in 2006, he won the award after scoring 18 goals for Germinal Beerschot, quite unfortunate he only represented the Super Eagles once and never scored a goal.