Kanu Nwankwo in his playing days
Former Super Eagles’ Captain, Nwankwo Kanu, has been rated as the 38th best world football legend by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), the organization that chronicles the history and records of association football.
Brazilian football legend, Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, also known as Pele, tops the list of the world’s 48 legends as announced by the IFFHS yesterday.
There is also Diego Amando Maradona, Eusebio, Dino Zoff and Luis Chilavert on the list.The body said the list of 48 is the first phase of the compilation, which rates legendary players according to the positions they played in the game.
Kanu is the only Nigerian in the list, which also has two Egyptians, Mahmoud El-Khatib and Mohamed Aboutrika, an Algerian, Rabah Madjer, Cameroun’s Roger Milla, George Weah of Liberia and Lucas Radebe of South Africa.
Interestingly, there is no place for players like George Best, Giani Rivera, Gabriel Batistuta, Mario Kempes, Paolo Maldini and Hristo Stoichkov.
Kanu, who won a UEFA Champions League title, a UEFA Cup trophy, Olympics gold medal, several league and FA Cup titles in Nigeria, Holland, Italy and England, was recently listed by CAF as one of the 10 best African players of the last 50 years.
Arsenal of England’s fans also picked him as the 13th among the Gunners greatest 50 players poll.Also in the list by IFFHS are Brazil’s Arthur Antunes Coimbra (Zico), Manuel Francisco dos Santos (Garrincha), Ronaldo De Lima.
It also has Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Lothar Matthäus, Hendrik Johannes Cruijff, Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit of the Netherlands, Bobby Charlton,David Beckham and Stanley Matthews of England.
Alfredo Stéfano Di Stéfano, Michel Platini, Zinedine Yazid Zidane, Antonio Carbajal, Hugo Sánchez Márquez, Luís Figo, Roberto Baggio, Ferenc Puskás, Hidetoshi Nakata,Cha Bum-kun, Lev Ivanovich Yashin and Ryan Joseph Giggs are also in the list.