The Super Eagles once again qualified for their third in as many World Cup tournaments after narrowly missing out in the Germany 2006 to Angola.
Nigeria’s 2010 qualification was at the expense North African power house Tunisia on the last match day after winning 3-2 away to Kenya while their rivals fell 0-1 to Mozambique.
The World Cup itself was staged in South Africa and it was supposed to be a special edition for teams in Africa to prove their worth in global football.
However, Nigeria’s outing at the competition was nothing to write home about as the two-time African Champions struggled to win a match in a group comprising Argentina, Korea and Greece.
It was yet another disastrous tournament for the brand new Eagles with players who were mostly making their debut at the World Cup.
The team was led by Swedish coach Lars Largerback after late Shuaibu Amodu was sacked despite qualifying Nigeria for the World Cup.
NAIJ.com.com reviews the 23 players involved for Nigeria in the 2010 edition of the FIFA World Cup
1. Vincent Enyeama
The Nigerian goalkeeper was one of the surviving members of the Japan/Korea 2002 World Cup as he had been the preferred choice sine Ike Shorunmu retired.
The Lille shot stopper was in goal in all three matches played and he was excellent in the match against Argentina denying Lionel Messi on a number of occasions.
Today, his services are still be craved for by present coach Gernot Rohr as his experience and composure are what the Super Eagles will be needing at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
2. Joseph Yobo
Over the years the Everton player had become Nigeria’s most consistent defender in Europe in terms of form and the 2010 World Cup was an addition to his experience.
The Super Eagles captain and his crew were not solid enough to absorb pressure as they conceded in all three match played.
The former Besiktas power house is now retired with a chieftaincy title in his home town in Rivers State and also runs an organization that has awarded scholarships to over 300 students.
3. Taiye Taiwo
As at the year this competition was held, the Marseille player had been struggling with form owing to injury problems but he was still the number one choice at left back.
Taiwo was substituted against Argentina for an attacker in the first match then picked up an injury against Greece that prevented him from playing the final game against Korea.
It turned out disappointing for the rocket left-footer as the Super Eagles took a bow in the first round. The former AC Milan man is still in active football plying his trade with Swedish side, AFC Eskilstuna.
4. Rabiu Afolabi
Having not given a chance to kick the ball at the 2002 World Cup, Rabiu Afolabi played in two matches coming as a substitute for Taiye Taiwo and Elder Echiejile who both got injured respectively.
The Red Bull Salzburg central defender played in an unfamiliar role at left back which did not go down well with the team as Nigeria crashed in the first round.
The 2010 World Cup was the last that was heard from the former U-20 international after having 20 caps and a goal under his belts.
5. Nwankwo Kanu
At this point in Kanu’s career, it would be the last tournament for him wearing the Green and White colors for the national team.
The Portsmouth striker only made an appearance in the last match in the 2-2 draw Koreans as the team failed to win a single match in the group.
The former Iwuayanwu Nationale now known as Heartland striker runs a heart foundation called Kanu Heart Foundation which provides treatment for kids with heart related diseases.
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6. Danny Shittu
The biggest player in the Nigerian squad made his first World Cup appearance for the Super Eagles in the heart of the defence.
The Bolton Wanderers big frame could not prevent Nigeria from conceding against all three teams in the group but it remains a memorable one for the six-foot-plus defender.
Shittu bowed out from the national team in 2013 with 32 caps that spanned for 13 years and later retired two years later with Championship side Millwall.
7. John Utaka
The Portsmouth winger had metamorphosed into a top player since making his debut at the 2002 World Cup but he was not having the best of times with the English club before the 2010 edition.
The former Rennes striker fell from the perking order as Chinedu Obasi and Kalu Uche were preferred by coach Lars Lagerback on the flanks.
The 35-year-old forward is still in contract with French lower division side Sedan and last played for Nigeria in 2012.
8. Yakubu Aiyegbeni
Yakubu Aiyegbeni was the costliest Nigerian player in Europe and he consolidated his price tag scoring goals for Premier League side, Everton.
Left to Nigerians, Yakubu was a flop at the World Cup as he could only score a goal against Korea from the penalty spot and also missed from close range in the same match.
The last club the former Maccabi Haifa featured was in the second tier division in England with Coventry city after playing spells in Europe and Asia.
Albeit, the Yak played 52 matches for Nigeria and scored 21 goals until his last call up in 2012.
9. Obafemi Martins
The stalky Wolfsburg striker did not have it rosy at the 2009/10 Bundesliga season before the World Cup as he could only manage six goals in 16 appearances.
The former Inter Milan forward was a second half substitute in the match against Argentina and Korea as he made an impact in the few minutes played.
It would be the only World Cup participation for the Ex-Newcastle poacher as he is yet to earn a national call up since moving to the Chinese Super League.
The 33-year-old is currently playing for Shanghai Shenhua in China but have scored 18 goals in 41 matches for the Super Eagles.
10. Brown Ideye
The 20-year-old striker was a surprise inclusion to the World Cup team when Swedish coach announced his final 23-man squad.
The former U-20 international did not have a senior cap to his name and went to the competition without making an appearance against a team.
The Ex-Olympiakos arrow-head currently earns his millions in the Chinese League with Tiajin Teda alongside teammate Mikel obi.
11. Osaze Odemwingie
After announcing himself at the international scene at the 2004 Nations Cup, Peter Odemwingie was one of the players Nigerians were banking on to do well in South Africa.
Surprisingly, Chinedu Obasi was given priority over the half-caste to start against the Diego Maradona-led side but played 46 minutes versus the Greeks and was benched in the last match.
After Nigeria’s elimination, the fair-skinned striker made a summer move to Premier English League side West Bromwich Albion
Osaze is not finished yet as the former Lille goal scorer is still finding the back of the net in the Indonesian League with Madura United scoring a remarkable 15 goals in 22 matches.
12. Kalu Uche
Only one of the Uche brothers made it through to the showpiece in Africa as the Almeria striker was preferred to his brother Ike.
The former Enyimba striker played in all three matches scoring two goals against Greece and Korea respectively in the run of play.
The Ex-Espanyol player had 35 caps and three goals to his name as he currently plays for Dehli Dynamos in the Indian League.
13. Ayila Yusuf
One player many expected would become a Super Eagles legend was Yusuf Ayila because of his form in the 2003/04 Champions League season with Dynamo Kyiv.
Ayila only made his World Cup debut in the last group match against Korea as Nigeria crashed out of the tournament after playing a 2-2 draw.
The defensive midfielder struggled with nagging knee injury problems which forced him to an early retirement from the game in 2014.
14. Sani Kaita
After winning a silver medal with the Dream Team at the football event of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Kaita was one of the few members of the Samson Siasia squad that made it through to the World Cup in 2010.
However, his participation in South Africa marked a premature end to his career in the national team after he was red carded against Greece which did not down well with fans at home.
The 2006 and 2008 Nations Cup bronze medalist was threatened by fans for the red card incident as he became the first Nigerian to be sent off at the World Cup finals.
Today, Kaita is currently pitching his tent with Rovaniemen Palloseura in Finland but played 20 matches for Nigeria since 2010.
15. Haruna Lukman
Captain of the U-17 team that won the FIFA World Cup in 2007 was a surprise inclusion into the 2010 squad but proved his worth after scoring in a pre-tournament friendly against Colombia.
The 20-year-old Monaco midfielder featured for Nigeria against Argentina and Greece but failed to make the starting XI in the match with Korea.
Lukman is on loan with Kazakhstan side Astana as he managed 13 caps with three goals with the senior national team.
16. Austin Ejide
Ejide made his second consecutive appearance at the soccer fiesta without kicking the ball with Vincent Enyeama in goal at his expense.
The 33-year-old is still in active football patching up with Israeli club Hapoel Hadera and has not been in goal for them this season.
17. Chidi Odiah
Odiah was the best right back in the country for a while so his participation at the 2010 World Cup was not questionable.
The CSKA Moscow defender played 90 minutes in all three matches respectively but it did not go down well as the Super Eagles were knocked out in the first phase.
The 33-year-old played 28 times for Nigeria and scored one goal from 2004 to 2010.
18. Obinna Nsofor
Nsofor was another rising player in the Super Eagles attack and scored a couple of goals in the qualifiers to the World Cup as his inclusion was not doubtful.
The Malaga winger played 52 minutes against the Argentines and came in for Aiyegbeni in the 2-2 draw with the former Asian Champions.
The former Plateau United player’s career has been a sloppy ride as 30-year-old currently plays for Cape Town City after spells in Germany, England, Russia, Italy and Spain.
19. Chinedu Obasi
The Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medalist was at the peak of his career when he made the final 23-man squad to the World Cup.
The Samson Siasia tutored lad played all three matches and was instrumental in the attack that produced three goals in the tournament.
The former Schalke 04 striker currently plies his trade with Swedish side AIK after an injury plagued spell in the German Bundeliga.
20. Dickson Etuhu
Etuhu was handed a golden opportunity to fly Nigeria’s flag at the 2010 World Cup after he played a part in Fulham’s Europa League finals in the 2009/10 season.
The 28-year-old was in the heart of the midfield in all the matches played and did not receive a yellow card but should have scored a goal against Greece as Aiyegbeni selfishly wasted a counter attacking opportunity.
The former Blackburn player finally hung his boots in 2016 with Swedish club AIK and played 33 times for the Super Eagles till 2011.
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21. Elderson Echiejile
At 22 years of age, Echiejile played his World Cup for the Super Eagles in left-back position in place of Taiye Taiwo but both got injured during the course of the competition.
The Sivasspor defender is still relevant to the national team as he was part of the Gernot Rohr’s team that qualified Nigeria for Russia 2018 World Cup.
22. Dele Adeleye
The former national U-20 and bronze medalist in Beijing was called up and was part of the Nigerian contingents to the 2010 World Cup.
The defender did not kick the ball all through the tournament playing second fiddle to the Danny Shittu and likes but garnered 10 caps for Super Eagles before exiting the scene.
Adeleye last played for Khazaktan side Aktobe in 2015 after moving from Spartak Rotterdam to play in Eastern part of Europe.
23. Dele Aiyenugba
Just like other players, Dele Ayenugba sat out in all three matches in the competition as Vincent Enyeama was the number one choice in goal for the Super Eagles.
The former Enyimba number one is still in active football with his Israeli club Hapoel Ashkelon but managed 17 caps with the national team.
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