The team won the maiden edition of FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1985 at China, the 1985 Edition tournament was sponsored by Kodak (when it was known as the U-16 tournament), 1993, 2007 and 2013; making them the first team ever to win the junior world cup four times. They also won the African Under-17 Championship in 2001 and 2007, and were runners-up in 1995.
After the 2007 victory there was some discussion as to whether the success should be rewarded in the form of cash, or if longer-term investments were more suitable for teenage players. It was pointed out that some previous players had found themselves reduced to poverty due to injury or mismanagement of their funds.
Although Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, they participated again in the 2013 edition of the tournament. In their first match, the team defeated the defending champions Mexico with a 6-1 score. They only failed to defeat Sweden in the group stage, but they did so in the semi-finals. In the final match they faced and defeated Mexico for a second time, obtaining their fourth U-17 World Cup and becoming the national team to win the most U-17 tournaments so far.