SI Vault
 
WORLD NEWS
David Fleming
October 28, 1996
With the addition in the last few seasons of players such as Oilers guard Hicham El-Mashtoub, who grew up in Lebanon, and Vikings guard David Dixon, who hails from New Zealand, the NFL has truly gone global. Thirty-nine players (not including the sons of U.S. military personnel) who were born on foreign soil or come from overseas U.S. territories currently appear on league rosters. For many of them, the road to the NFL has been strange indeed. Take 49ers rookie linebacker Israel Ifeanyi. Four years ago he emigrated from his native Lagos, Nigeria, with the intention of becoming, as he calls it, "a football warrior" in the NFL. "My father acquired a tape of a Bengals-Dolphins game," says Ifeanyi, a 25-year-old rookie out of USC, "and I watched it over and over and over. I didn't realize how many more teams there were until I got here." Here's a look at the international flavor of the NFL.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 28, 1996

World News

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

LEBANON
Hicham El-Mashtoub, G, Oilers

NETHERLANDS
Romeo Bandison, DT, Redskins
Harald Hasselbach, DE, Broncos

NEW ZEALAND
David Dixon, G, Vikings

NIGERIA
Israel Ifeanyi, DE, 49ers
Iheanyi Uwaezuoke. WR, 49ers

POLAND
Jason Maniecki, DT, Buccaneers

SAMOA, AMERICAN
Pio Sagapolutele, DT, Patriots
Don Sasa, DT, Chargers

SAMOA, WESTERN
Richard Brown, LB, Vikings
Jesse Sapolu, C, 49ers

SOUTH AFRICA
Gary Anderson, K, Eagles

TONGA
Siupeli Malamala, G, Jets
Alfred Pupunu, TE, Chargers

VIRGIN ISLANDS
Joe Aska, RB, Raiders
Quentin Coryatt, LB, Colts
Jeff Faulkner, DT, Jets
Renaldo Turnbull, DE, Saints

Continue Story
1 2 3