Chinedu Obasi

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Chinedu Obasi
Chinedu Obasi 20.jpg
Personal information
Full name Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi[1]
Date of birth (1986-06-01) 1 June 1986 (age 31)
Place of birth Enugu, Nigeria
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
AIK
Number 20
Youth career
1997–2002 River Lane Youth Club Enugu[2]
2002–2004 Enugu Rangers
2004–2005 JC Raiders
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Lyn 29 (14)
2007–2012 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 92 (25)
2012 Schalke 04 (loan) 10 (1)
2012–2015 Schalke 04 25 (3)
2016 AIK 10 (6)
2017 Shenzhen 17 (5)
2017– AIK 9 (5)
National team
2005 Nigeria U20 8 (3)
2005–2011 Nigeria 18 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 November 2017.

Chinedu "Edu" Obasi (Nigerian Igbo pronunciation: [ˈtɕɪ̙nedʊ̙ ˈɔ̙ɡ͡ɓasɪ̙]; born 1 June 1986) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for AIK.

Club career

Lyn

Obasi playing for Lyn.

Born in Enugu, Nigeria, Obasi started his football career at River Lane Youth Club Enugu and JC Raiders in his homeland country. Obasi went to Norway at the same time as his countryman John Obi Mikel; both players joined Lyn.[3] It was disputed that Obasi signed for Lyn in 2004, but this was rejected by FIFA which ordered both Obasi and Ezekiel Bala returned to Lyn immediate effect.[4]

Obasi made his Lyn debut, in the opening game of the season, where he played 66 minutes, in a 1–1 draw against Fredrikstad.[5] However, Obasi struggled to regain a place in the first team and it wasn't until on 25 September 2005 when he scored his first Lyn goal, in a 1–0 win over Brann.[6] Despite this, Obasi made five appearances in his first season.

In the 2006 season, Obasi didn't play for the side at the start of the season due to an ongoing dispute with his own club.[7] On 2 July 2006, he made his first appearance of the season in a 2–1 win over Fredrikstad.[8] Obasi then scored his first goal for the club on 6 August 2006, in a 2–0 win over Molde, followed up by scoring twice in the next game, with a 3–2 loss against Stabæk.[9][10] Despite suffering from injuries during the season, Obasi finished his second season making fifteen appearances and scoring eight times in all competitions.[11] For his performance, Obasi was named Young Player of the Year.[12]

On 20 December 2006, a transfer deal was announced with Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow,[13] and Obasi was set to move to the Russian side in January. The deal was derailed, however, when the president, sporting director and manager of Lokomotiv were all fired six days later.[14] Several days after he trained with Premier League side Portsmouth, Obasi signed a contract with Lyn, keeping him until 2008.[15][16] By the time of his departure from Lyn, Obasi had made eleven appearances and five goals in all competitions.

Throughout his Lyn career, Obasi was linked with moves to European clubs, such as Wigan Athletic,[17] Manchester United, Chelsea,[18] Arsenal[19] and Barcelona.[20] Despite pleads from then Manager Henning Berg,[21] the club expected to see Obasi leave the club in the summer, as German side 1899 Hoffenheim closed on signing him.[22]

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

On 27 August 2007, Obasi moved to 2. Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for an undisclosed fee.[23]

Obasi quickly made an impact for Hoffenheim when he scored twice on his debut despite losing 3–2 against Freiburg.[24] After missing the next game, Obasi returned to the first team, where he set up one of the goals, in a 2–0 win over Paderborn.[25] After returning, Obasi continued to appear in the first team and scored five times in five months. In a match against Paderborn on 9 March 2008, which saw Hoffenheim win 1–0, Obasi was sent-off in the 54th minute when he was involved in an incident with opposition midfielder Erwin Koen.[26] After the match, Obasi claimed that Koen racially abused him, which led to his sending off,[27] a claim Koen denied and even thought about taking legal action against Obasi.[28] In the end, the DFB's control committee decided against taking action against Koen, citing lack of evidence and Obasi served a three match suspension.[29] Following his return from suspension, Obasi scored four more goals later in the season and helped the club reach promotion to Bundesliga for the first time.[30] Obasi finished his first season at the club, making thirty appearances and scoring twelve times in all competitions. This made him the club’s joint top-scorer in the league, along with Demba Ba.

Ahead of the 2008–09 season, Obasi was linked with a move to England, but eventually stayed at the club throughout the summer.[31] However, at the start of the season, Obasi missed out several matches, due to injury and international commitment.[32] Obasi made his first appearance of the season on 13 September 2008 against Stuttgart, where he played 30 minutes, in a 0–0 draw.[33] Despite suffering from injury in training soon after,[34] Obasi then scored his first goal of the season in a 5–2 win over Hannover 96 on 18 October 2008,[35] followed up by scoring twice, in a 3–0 win over Hamburg in the next game.[36] Throughout the 2008–09 season, Obasi suffered a setback when he was plagued by injuries.[37][38][39] Nevertheless, Obasi finished the season, making twenty–six appearances and scoring six times in all competitions.

In the 2009–10 season, Obasi started well when he scored his first goal of the season, in a 2–0 win over Oberneuland in the first round of DFB-Pokal, followed up by scoring in a 1–1 draw against Bayern Munich in the opening game of the season.[40][41] After being sidelined with an injury, Obasi scored on his return on 1 November 2009, in a 4–0 win over Köln.[42][43] However, as the 2009–10 season progressed, Obasi was kept out from the first team, due to international commitment and injury.[44] Eventually, he made his return to the first team and then scored twice on 25 April 2010, in a 5–1 win over Hamburg.[45] He went on to finish the 2009–10 season, making twenty–six appearance and scoring eight times in all competitions.

However, at the start of the 2010–11 season, Obasi was sidelined for about eight weeks with a shin injury.[46] It wasn't until on 17 October 2010, when Obasi returned to the first team, coming on as a late substitute, in a 3–2 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach.[47] After appearing in three more matches, Obasi, once again, suffered a knee injury that kept him out for three months.[48] After months on the sideline, Obasi returned to the first team in the last game of the season, as a late substitute, in a 3–1 loss against Wolfsburg.[49] Following this, Obasi went on to make six appearances in all competitions.

In the 2011–12 season, Obasi regained his first team place at Hoffenheim following his injury plagued last season.[50] In a match against Stuttgart, which saw them lose 2–0 on 18 October 2011, Obasi was substituted in the second half and when he left the pitch, he refused to shake Holger Stanislawski's hand and was fined as a result.[51] Seven days later, on 25 October 2011, Obasi scored his first goal of the season, in the second round of DFB-Pokal, in a 2–1 win over Köln.[52] Obasi continued to remain in the first team for the club until he was dropped from the squad ahead of a match against Hamburg for disobeying orders and a week later when he was late for training.[53][54] Following this, Obasi announced his desire to leave the club, when his first team opportunities became more limited.[55]

Schalke 04

On 23 December 2011, it was confirmed that Obasi was going on loan to Schalke 04 until the end of the 2011–12 season.[56] Prior to a match against his former club, Hoffenheim, Obasi said that the club would remain in his heart and that he considered it as his second home.[57]

Obasi made his Schalke 04 debut when he played for 75 minutes in a 3–1 win over Stuttgart on 21 January 2012.[58] Two weeks later, on 4 February 2012, Obasi scored his first goal for the club, in a 1–1 draw against Mainz 05.[59] As the season progressed, Obasi continued to remain in the first team despite being sidelined with injuries.[60][61][62] At the end of the 2011–12 season, Obasi made ten appearances and scored once for the side whilst on loan.

On 2 July 2012, Schalke 04 confirmed that Obasi signed a three-year professional contract with them until 30 June 2015.[63] The transfer fee was reported as €4,000,000 to €5,000,000 by Schalke's sport and communications manager Horst Heldt.[63] Obasi was assigned a number 19 shirt.[63] However, at the start of the season, Obasi suffered a setback when he continued to recover from his injury.[64] After returning to training, Obasi then made his first appearance since joining them on a permanent basis in a 2–2 draw against Fortuna Düsseldorf on 28 September 2012.[65][66] However, Obasi continued to be plagued by injuries and was on the substitute bench for the most of the season.[67][68] At the end of the 2012–13 season, Obasi had made only seven appearances for the club.

In the 2013–14 season, Obasi continued to recover from injury at the start of the season.[69] After returning to training around November, Obasi did not make a return to the first team until the following month, where he played 20 minutes, in a 0–0 draw against Nürnberg.[70][71] Despite suffering from another injury, Obasi scored his first goal in two years in a 4–0 against his former club, Hoffenheim, on 8 March 2014.[72][73] After the match, Obasi said scoring a goal motivated him after missing out a long time.[74] At the end of the 2013–14 season, Obasi had made nineteen appearances and scored three times in all competitions.

Ahead of the 2014–15 season, Obasi was then reassigned a number 20 shirt for his last season with Schalke 04.[75] He remained in the first team at the start of the season and then scored his first goal of the season, in a European match, in a 4–3 win over Sporting Lisbon on 21 October 2014.[76] There were hints of getting a new contract,[77] but Obasi suffered a shinbone injury that kept him out for the rest of the season.[78] At the end of the 2014–15 season, Obasi was released by the club after his contract expired and had made ten appearances and one goal in all competitions.[79]

First spell at AIK

On 23 October 2015, Obasi was handed a trial by Premier League side Sunderland.[80] However, the club decided against signing him following the trial, citing his fitness concerns.[81] Afterwards, Obasi went on trial at Eintracht Frankfurt.[82] The club eventually decided against signing Obasi over his fitness concerns.[83]

On 4 August 2016, Obasi signed a short-term contract with AIK[84] Three days later, on 7 August 2016, Obasi made his AIK debut, where he started and played the whole game, in a 2–0 loss against Malmö.[85] Two weeks later, on 21 August 2016, Obasi scored his first goal for the club, in a 2–0 win over Örebro.[86]

After making ten appearance and scoring six times, Obasi helped the club finished second place in the league and for his performance, Obasi was offered a new contract by the club when his contract expired at the end of the season.[87] However, a month later, Obasi rejected a new contract from AIK in favour of a move to China.[88]

Shenzhen

At the end of the season, Obasi moved abroad again when he was recruited by China League One Shenzhen on 4 February 2017, signing a one-year contract and joining manager Sven-Göran Eriksson.[89][90]

Return to AIK

On 26 July 2017, AIK announced they had signed Obasi. He is set to join the squad on 1 August and is under contract the remainder of the 2017 season.[91]

International career

Norway naturalization persuasion

Obasi was offered the chance to represent the Norway national football team during his club career in Norway and Obasi stated that: "I don't regret dumping Norway to play for Nigeria, back then at Lyn Oslo with John Obi Mikel, I was encouraged to naturalize to receive a Norwegian passport and become a Norwegian, the Football Association of Norway wanted me to play for the Norway national football team at that time and I must confess I gave it a thought for a long time, I had already played for Nigeria in one of their friendly matches which was one of the deciding factors in my final choice, I love Nigeria and I was well received by the senior players in Super Eagles, I had to walk up to them in Norway's Football Association of Norway and say no".[92]

Nigeria

Obasi was part of the Nigeria national under-20 football team that finished runners-up at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.[93][94]

After the end of the FIFA World Youth Championship, Obasi was called up by the senior national team for the first time on 17 August 2005, in a 1–0 defeat against Libya.[95] In July 2008, Obasi was called up by Nigeria national under-23 football team.[96] However, the club refused to let Obasi go to the Olympics, leading him to take the situation to FIFA.[97] Eventually, Obasi was given permission by the club's management to compete with the national olympic team and helped the side finish runners-up at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.[98] During the tournament, Obasi scored twice on 19 August 2008, in a 4–1 win over Belgium.[99]

In January 2010, Obasi was called up by the Nigeria for the Africa Cup of Nations.[100] In the group stage, Obasi scored the opener in the 12th minute, but lost 3–1 against Egypt.[101] Later in the tournament, Obasi helped the national team finished in third-place at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations after beating Algeria.[102]

Six months later, Obasi was included in the 23-man squad for the national team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[93][103][104] On matchday one, Obasi made his World Cup debut when he made his first start and played 60 minutes in a 1–0 against Argentina.[105] On matchday three, Obasi set up a goal for Yakubu to score an equaliser, in a 2–2 draw against South Korea, but this was not enough for his side to progress out of the group stages.[106]

A year later, Obasi scored his fourth international goal for the side, in a 3–1 loss against Argentina.[107]

Since 2011, Obasi hasn't played for the national team, due to injury and being out of form and because he was not release by the club although he was called up on more than one occasion.[108][109]

Career statistics

As of match played 6 August 2017[110]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Lyn 2005 Tippeligaen 5 1 0 0 5 1
2006 13 8 0 0 0 0 13 8
2007 11 5 0 0 11 7
Total 29 14 0 0 0 0 29 14
1899 Hoffenheim 2007–08 2. Bundesliga 27 12 0 0 27 12
2008–09 Bundesliga 24 6 0 0 24 6
2009–10 23 7 3 1 26 8
2010–11 5 0 1 0 6 0
2011–12 13 0 2 1 15 1
Total 92 25 6 2 98 27
Schalke 04 2011–12 Bundesliga 10 1 0 0 5 0 15 1
2012–13 4 0 1 0 2 0 7 0
2013–14 15 3 1 0 3 0 19 3
2014–15 6 0 0 0 3 1 9 1
Total 35 4 2 0 15 1 52 5
AIK 2016 Allsvenskan 10 6 0 0 10 6
Total 10 6 0 0 10 6
Shenzhen 2017 China League One 17 5 0 0 17 5
Total 17 5 0 0 17 5
AIK 2017 Allsvenskan 1 2 0 0 1 1 2 3
Total 1 2 0 0 1 1 2 3
Career total 184 56 8 2 16 2 208 60

International career statistics

National team Season App. Goals Assists Ref.
Nigeria national football team 2005–06 2 0 0 [111]
2007–08 1 2 0
2009–10 1 0 0
2010–11 11 1 1
2011–12 5 1 0
Total 20 4 1
Last updated: 6 September 2011

International goals

Honours

International

Individual

Personal life

The name "Obasi" means "Glory of God" in the Nigerian Igbo language.[112] Obasi prays before every one of his matches: "I can talk to God about everything, so I pray for victory".[112]

When Obasi lived in Germany, he began to learn the German language.[113] It was reported that Obasi received a German citizenship in March 2015, having stayed there for eight years.[114]

References

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External links

  • Chinedu Obasi at fussballdaten.de (in German)
  • Chinedu Obasi at National-Football-Teams.com
  • Chinedu Obasi at Soccerway
  • Chinedu Obasi at FootballDatabase.eu
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