Three of the Best International Players in the NFL

Three of the Best International Players in the NFL - partycasino

The NFL is the most prominent American Football League in the world, attracting a global audience. Unlike most other sports, the majority of players within the NFL are American.

However, some international players have made their mark in the NFL - here are three of the best.

Osi Umenyiora

Osi Umenyiora was born in London in 1981 to Nigerian parents and lived in Britain for the first seven years of his life. He then moved with his family to Nigeria. But at the age of 14 moved again to live with his sister in Alabama to gain a better education. 

While in college, he showed potential in football, settling at the defensive end after moving from nose guard. His performance was so good he was later inducted into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame. 

The New York Giants signed Osi Umenyiora in the second round of the 2003 draft, and by 2005, he started his first year on the field. Proving to be a top-notch pass rusher, his performance was so outstanding that he earned an invitation to the Pro Bowl. 

Osi Umenyiora stayed with the Giants until 2011, when he moved to the Atlanta Falcons for two years. He returned back to the Giants to enable him to retire as a member of the team. He was inducted into the New York Giants Ring of Honour with 35 forced fumbles, four touchdowns and 85 sacks.

Tamba Hali

Tamba Hali was born in Liberia but left the war-ravaged country at the age of 10.  He moved to New Jersey and initially targeted the NFL as a career because he thought it would enable him to earn enough money to reunite with his mother, from whom he had been separated for 12 years. 

At the 2006 draft, he was ranked as the third-best defensive player, having been named the defensive MVP of the Senior Bowl at college. The Kansas City Chiefs signed him, and he stayed there for 12 seasons until he was released in 2018. 

During his first season, he was named in the NFL All-Rookie Team of the year and scooped the Mack Lee Hill Award for the top Chiefs rookie. He enjoyed a prosperous career, and by the time he retired, he had the second-highest sacks for the Chiefs of all time, coming in second only to Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas.

Sebastian Janikowski

Born in Poland in 1978, Sebastian Janikowski moved to the US with his parents at a young age as his dad hoped to resurrect his own pro sports career. Sebastian Janikowski showed such athletic prowess that he was chosen for the Polish Under-17s soccer team.

He played both soccer and football in college, where he showed real prowess as a kicker. The Oakland Raiders drafted Sebastian Janikowski as a 17th pick in 2000 and quickly became a valued member of the team after a rocky first year. In 2002 he reached the Super Bowl with the Raiders, kicking a field goal in the first quarter. 

By 2004, the Raiders extended Janikowski's contract making him the highest-paid kicker in the whole history of the NFL.

In 2011 he tied with the record for the longest NFL field goal, scoring from 63 yards. In the same year, he received an invite to the Pro Bowl. 

Sebastian Janikowski stayed at the Raiders until 2018 when he moved to the Seattle Seahawks for his final year in the NFL. When he retired, he was the highest ever scorer for the Raiders with a tally of 1799 points.