Super Eagles striker Emmanuel Emenike says he is “proud” to have made the world’s top 100 footballers for the year 2013, according to a recent rating conducted by British newspaper, The Guardian.
The 26-year-old, who returned to Fenerbahce in August for £11.2m (€13m) from Spartak Moscow, has been very instrumental to the Super Lig outfit in the ongoing campaign, scoring seven goals from 15 appearances as well as making 5 assists.
He told fanatik.com that the top 100 poll gives him a “real sense of happiness: an emotion.
Emmanuel Emenike of Nigeria dribbles past Ethiopia players during the 2014 World Cup qualifier match between Ethiopia and Nigeria at the Olympic Stadium, Ethiopia ©Sydney Mahlangu
Emenike was instrumental to the Nigerian team which lifted a third African Cup of Nations (Afcon) trophy in South Africa last February. His four goals helped the Super Eagles reach the final of the tournament, where they edged Burkina Faso to the title. Despite missing out of the final game of the tournament due to a thigh injury, he was named to the team of the Afcon Team of the Tournament. He also received the Pepsi Tournament Top Scorer gong, with four goals, along with Ghana’s Wakaso Mubaraq.
The injury and its eventual relapse prevented Emenike from participating in the 2013 Fifa Confederation Cup in Brazil in June and the second half of the 2012/13 Russian League season, returning in August (at the start of the 2013/14 season) to score three goals in four matches for Spartak before leaving the Russian club for Istanbul.
He marked his return to the Eagles team with a goal in the 2-0 win over Malawi, which ensured Nigeria reached the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers CAF Zone third round (playoff).
In the first-leg of the World Cup playoff away at the Olympic Stadium in Addis Ababa, Emenike scored twice to give Nigeria a 2-1 lead going into the second leg, which the African champions eventually won to complete a 4-1 aggregate victory.
“There are millions of players around the world and (to) find my place among the first 100. Of course, this is also not a very easy to reach spot. Thank God for this honour.”
Former AC Milan and Italy defender, Alexandro Nesta, led a beefed-up panel of 15 experts- including former England women’s coach, Hope Powell, and the retired USMNT goalkeeper, Kasey Keller- who decided the top 100 players in the second annual list presented by the Guardian.
How the Ranking Worked.
“We (The Guardian) asked each judge one simple question: who have been the 40 best players in the world in 2013? They ranked their answers in order, from 1-40. We awarded 40 points for a No1 choice, 39pts for No2, and so on down to one point for their 40th choice.”