Goal has ranked Sunday Mba as the 24 best player of the 2013 football year ahead of the likes of Ibrahimovic, Suarez, Isco, Mata and Lampard. Hazard and Oscar didn’t even make the list.
This is a first time ranking for Mba in the annual goalcom top 50 after he became a revelation for the super eagle’s in the recently concluded AFCON which he scored to clinch the title.
When Keshi decided to take Mba along with five other home based players to the AFCON tournament he had a lot of raised eyebrows but the 24-year-old played better than many of the nation’s more heralded foreign contingent.
Having started the tournament on the bench, Mba was Nigeria’s hero in the knockout stages. He scored the winner in the quarter-final against Cote d’Ivoire to spell the end for Didier Drogba’s trophyless ‘golden generation’. Then in the final itself, Mba fired home the only goal against Burkina Faso to gift Nigeria their first Afcon title since 1994.
The 24-year-old was also one of Nigeria’s best performers at the Confederations Cup and has helped to draw attention to the depth of talent in the Nigerian league.