Sunday Oliseh celebrates his winning goal against Spain during Nigeria’s 3-2 victory at the 1998 World Cup. Grigory Dukor-Reuters

Erstwhile Nigeria international striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni says former Super Eagles captain and coach, Sunday Oliseh, was a better defensive midfielder during his playing days than fellow ex-Eagles skipper, John Obi Mikel.

Controversy over Nigeria’s greatest player ever continues to rage on even among ex-internationals with Aiyegbeni’s disagreeing with fellow Eagles legend, Daniel Amokachi who recently rated Mikel as Nigeria’s greatest footballer.

Speaking on Sports Zone on Lagos Talks from his England base, Aiyegbeni says Mikel is not even the greatest defensive midfielder Nigeria has produced preferring to give the honour to Oliseh.


The Yak as Aiyegbeni was known during his playing days however, concedes that while Mikel’s superior trophy cabinet might lend credence to the “greatest-ever” tag, Oliseh was much the superior player.

“Mikel is the greatest because of the trophies he has won. Don’t get me wrong, Mikel is a very, very good player [but] there’s no way you can compare Mikel with Sunday Oliseh. No chance, no chance,” said Aiyegbeni who retired in 2015 as Nigeria’s third-highest goalscorer with 21 goals in 57 caps.

“Mikel did so well in his career in Chelsea, he won a lot of trophies [but] there is nowhere in the world you can compare Mikel and Sunday Oliseh.

“Oliseh is a better player than Mikel. Mikel won a lot of trophies but Oliseh was unbelievable,” the former Portsmouth and Everton striker added.

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