Nigeria’s ’96 Olympic gold medallists: Where are they now?

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  1. Dosu Joseph
    Shina Odukoya

    Joseph Dosu

    Despite arriving at the Olympics as Nigeria’s second-choice goalkeeper - and one of the two home-based players in the squad - Dosu established himself as the undisputed first choice before the competition and played every minute of the Dream Team’s march to victory.

    More was expected of him, but an unfortunate car accident in Lagos in 1997 prematurely ended his career at the age of 23, just as he was about to team up with Italian side Reggiana.

    He moved on to football management after his recovery, and took over as the head coach of Westerlo Football Academy in Lagos.

  2. Emmanuel Babayaro

    Emmanuel Babayaro

    The elder Babayaro was the first choice goalkeeper before the start of the tournament, but lost his place to Dosu and remained on the bench for the entirety of the Games.

    In 2015, he was appointed the General Manager of Kaduna United on an initial three-year contract.

  3. Celestine Babayaro

    Celestine Babayaro

    Celestine was a crucial member of Jo Bonfrere’s squad in the USA, playing five out of six games.

    He earned a move to Chelsea a year after the Olympics, and later featured for Newcastle United, spending a total of 11 years in English football.

    Not much has been heard of Babayaro since 2009 after he joined the Uefa Trophy Tour, although he is alleged to have filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

  4. Taribo West

    Taribo West

    West was an ever-present at the Games, playing all six games in the heart of defence with his partner Uche Okechukwu.

    West went on to play for Italian giants Internazionale and AC Milan, as well as taking in spells in England, Germany, Serbia, and Qatar.

    He retired in 2008 and has become a Pentecostal preacher.

  5. Uche Okechukwu
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    Uche Okechukwu

    Okechukwu was one of two overage players picked for the tournament.

    An experienced centre-back plying his trade with Fenerbahce in 1996, Okechukwu marshalled the defence alongside West.

    He moved back to Nigeria to play for Ocean Boys and Bayelsa United before retiring in 2009.

    He later featured the testimonial organised in honour of Joseph Yobo’s retirement in Port Harcourt in 2016.

  6. Nwankwo Kanu of Nigeria & Roberto Carlos of Brazil
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    Nwankwo Kanu

    Kanu was the star of the Nigeria team in 1996.

    A heart condition, which ruled him out for almost a year, was discovered few months later at Inter Milan, but he bounced back and achieved success in England with Arsenal, Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion.

    Kanu retired in 2012, and now manages his string of businesses as well as his charity, the Kanu Heart Foundation.

  7. Emmanuel Amuneke - Atlanta Olympics 1996
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    Emmanuel Amuneke

    Amuneke was the other overage player selected for the Games.

    He played all six games in Atlanta and secured a move to Barcelona after the competition.

    Amuneke became a manager in 2008, winning the Fifa U-17 World Cup with Nigeria in 2015, and subsequently progressed to the U-20s before taking the reins with Tanzania.

    He was most recently with Masr El Makasa of Egypt.

  8. Tijani Babangida
    Tijani Babangida

    Tijani Babangida

    Babangida played all six games in Atlanta, before going on to seal a move to Ajax where he spent seven seasons – however he was loaned out to a number of clubs during his spell with the Dutch giants.

    He retired from football in 2004 in order to work as an agent.

  9. En Japón 1993 el goleador indiscutido fue el nigeriano Wilson Oruma, con seis goles.

    Wilson Oruma

    Oruma did not feature prominently in Atlanta as he was mostly reduced to substitute appearances against Brazil and Argentina in the semi-final and final respectively.

    He went on to spend the best of his career with clubs in France before retiring in 2010, where he remained living in France.

  10. Teslim Fatusi

    Teslim Fatusi

    Fatusi was a fringe player at the Games, although he was crucial in qualifying.

    He didn’t make it to the Super Eagles senior side, and retired in 2007.

    Fatusi subsequently moved to the USA where he dabbled in business.

  11. Jay-Jay Okocha of Nigeria
    Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

    Jay-Jay Okocha

    Okocha was the creative spark of Nigeria team, and played all six games in Atlanta where he scored twice.

    The playmaker then signed for PSG as the most expensive African player of the time in 1998, before famously going on to play for Bolton Wanderers, where he dazzled fans in English football.

    He retired in 2008 and delved into business.

    In 2015 he was elected Chairman of the Delta State Football Association, and has also worked with the NFF.

  12. Victor Ikpeba

    Victor Ikpeba

    The ‘Prince of Monaco’ was an important member of the Dream Team squad in 1996 where he played in all six games and scored Nigeria’s second goal in the 4-3 semi-final win over Brazil.

    Ikpeba called time on his career in 2007, and since worked as a SuperSport pundit.

    He has also served a member of the Delta FA and NFF.

  13. Abiodun Obafemi

    Abiodun Obafemi

    Obafemi was a fringe player at the Atlanta Games, playing just one game – the 1-0 group stage loss to Brazil.

    He played most of his club career in Germany before retiring in 2001.

    After his playing career, Obafemi worked in football management and runs an academy.

  14. Garba Lawal and Bora Milutinovic
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    Garba Lawal

    The versatile Lawal played all six games in Nigeria’s march to gold at the Games, before sealing a move to Dutch side Roda JC in the aftermath of the tournament.

    After a five-year return to the Nigeria Professional Football League, Lawal hung up his boots in 2012.

    Lawal subsequently worked as the General Manager of Kaduna United and as a member of the NFF.

  15. Nigeria 94 - Daniel Amokachi

    Daniel Amokachi

    Amokachi played in all six games, scoring once in Atlanta – the 74th minute equaliser against Argentina in the final.

    Amokachi played at the highest level until his retirement in 2005, and was an assistant coach when Nigeria won the Afcon in 2013.

    He also coached in the Finnish second division with JS Hercules, and has worked in a punditry capacity.

  16. Sunday Oliseh

    Sunday Oliseh

    Oliseh was a vital component of the Olympics squad where he was the team’s first-choice holding midfielder.

    He played in five of the six games in Atlanta, and enjoyed spells at Juventus and Borussia Dortmund before hanging up his boots in 2006 at Belgian club Genk. 

    He took over as head coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, before resigning unceremoniously in February.

    Oliseh resides in Belgium where he works as a television pundit, and has worked with the Fifa Technical Study Group.

  17. Jo Bonfrere, coach of Nigeria - Atlanta 1996

    Kingsley Obiekwu

    Obiekwu was an unused substitute during the entirety of the Games due to the excellence of West and Okechukwu.

    He subsequently served on the technical crew of Delta Force FC in Delta State, and has held other roles within Nigerian football.

  18. Joseph Yobo testimonial.jpg
    Kolade Oni

    Mobi Oparaku

    Oparaku was Nigeria’s first choice right-back at the Games, appearing in all six games in Atlanta.

    He last played for Enyimba in 2010 and now resides in his hometown of Owerri, where he works as a businessman.

    He subsequently served as team manager of Heartland FC.