Ask a 10-year-old typical Nigerian football lover his dream football player, the answer is simple, Lionel Messi of Argentina or Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal.
But why? The answer is simple. They score goals, lots of goals; topping goal scoring charts in the last decade and more.
The euphoria and emotion attached to football is about how many times a football hits back of the net.
Everyone is at the stadium to see goals, and ultimately differentiate winners, champions from losers and the disappointed.
In Nigeria, it seems the sole purpose of people going to watch football is hard to come by.
Although this has improved in the last few years, data show the Nigerian league ranks low in terms of the number of goals scored.
So far, all 20 teams in the Nigeria professional football league have played 16 games as at Friday, 4th March, 2022.
Data obtained from ESPN show that since the start of 2021-2022 season a total of 296 goals have been scored in 320 games played.
This indicates one goal per game ratio(1.08) for the season so far, and one goal every 97 minutes; meaning it is more likely for a fan to go to games and have no reason to cheer.
In fact, in the last two seasons (2019-20 and 2020-21), a total number of 1,252 games have been played; 38 per team in 2020-2021 season and 25 games in 2019-2020 season.
The total number of goals scored for the two seasons have been 1,285. This is an average of also 1 goal per game(1.02)
2022 season is no different
So far, the highest scoring team in the Nigerian league is Plateau United with 26 goals scored in 16 games. That is a goal every 55 minutes.
The worst is Kano Pillars scoring only 8 goals in the last 1,440 minutes of football. This means that for a football fan who has consistently visited their matches will have to wait for over two matches to cheer to a goal.
Nigerian league compared to other countries
Ghanaian Premier League teams are in their 18th game scoring 321 goals in 324 total matches played. Also 1 goal per match.
South African league and Egypt league boast a higher goal per game ratio, explaining why they are more regarded as a better league and attract more football fans.
They both average 1.1 goals per game.
Why European league is so attractive
In 46,260 minutes of matches, English teams have scored 712 goals.
This is a ratio of one goal every 64 minutes of football game played by teams.
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