Last night (October 7, 2017) Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi became a National hero during Nigeria’s world cup qualifier against Zambia at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
Iwobi who came in as a substitute in the 65th minute scored the only goal of the match in the 74th minute, thrashing Zambia’s hopes and ensuring Nigeria’s place at next year’s FIFA World Cup event in Russia.
A Dream Come True…We're Heading To The World Cup ??.Nice To Get The Winning Goal, Massive Thanks To Our Fans.The Atmosphere Was Crazy ??? pic.twitter.com/Ke3y6WjYPh
— Alexander Iwobi (@alexiwobi) October 7, 2017
His winning goal also makes Nigeria the first African country to qualify for the World Cup joining countries like Brazil, England, Germany, Spain and hosts Russia, who have qualified for the tournament.
His winning goal definitely made him man of the match, but how much do we know about Iwobi? that1960chick.com has put together some juicy facts about Alex Iwobi – his favourite food, his girlfriend, his net worth and much more. This is the most comprehensive list about Iwobi you’ll find anywhere on the internet!
Let’s dig in…
1. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria on May 3, 1996, but moved with his parents to England when he was just 4 years old, after living briefly in Turkey with Jay Jay Okocha.
2. His full name is Alexander Chuka Iwobi
3. He was raised in East London.
4. He currently resides in London.
5. He is from a family of four, he has one sister – Marie Iwobi.
6. His father, Chuka Iwobi abandoned his budding football career to pursue law in order to provide a better life for his family.
7. He almost got released from the Arsenal youth team when he was in his early teens. He recalls,
Because I wasn’t as big, fast or strong as everyone else, there were question marks on me and my ability that I wasn’t imposing myself on the game as I should. It was upsetting because I was going to school thinking, ‘What can I do to improve?’ I would have extra sessions with my dad or friends. My mum made me do kick-ups in the living room. My sister even tried to play football. Everyone was trying to help me.
8. His father regularly accompanies him on his international duties for Nigeria.
9. Alex is Jay Jay Okocha‘s nephew. They are very close and ex pro footballer often advises him on matters on and off the pitch .
Okocha advices me to get into business & properties because football is short lived - Alex… Click To Tweet
We speak every couple of weeks. He does advise me, not just on the pitch but off it too. Football is a short career so he is telling me to maintain the lifestyle you have to get businesses and properties. He is trying to keep me level-headed and to help me plan for the future after football.
10. He and model girlfriend of 4 years Clarissa Juliette recently broke up. She took to her Snapchat to accuse him of cheating.
11. He earns £30,000 a week playing for Arsenal.
12. His current contract with Arsenal expires in 2020.
13. Even though he earns £120,000 a month he remains grounded and close to his parents.
I’m not one to go living a flashy lifestyle, I try to keep as humble as I can - Alex Iwobi Click To Tweet
My mum and dad keep me grounded. The more I’m progressing, the more money, the more the fame comes with it, but they’re helping me invest because football is a really short career. They’re also making me think about life outside of football as well a bit more, but I’m not one to go spending and living a flashy lifestyle, I try to keep as humble as I can and I’m still the same. As a young kid earning so much, having a house and driving a nice car it is nice but it is something I keep level-headed about.
14. He has an endorsement deal with Nike. Watch below.
15. Alex’s favourite food is eba (a staple made with cassava flour) and okra soup made by his mum.
16. He understands but can’t speak Igbo. His father told Goal Nigeria,
I think it’s an indictment on my own person. I speak Igbo, I understand Yoruba. Unfortunately for Alex, he cannot speak Igbo but he understands Igbo and I think it’s a failing on our part because we could have done a bit more to make him understand Igbo.
The shortcut to everything is that he has picked up the universal language which is Pidgin English and he has made an effort talking to his team-mates. In the [Nigeria] team, you have Igbo people and Yoruba people but the universal language is Pidgin.
17. In 2016 he played his first competitive game for Nigeria against Egypt in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying tie.
18. This means he is not eligible to ever play for England, even though he played for the England youth team. On why made the tough decision to represent Nigeria even though the English FA wanted him badly he told media in Abuja,
There's a lot of things about the honour that goes with playing for one’s father’s land - Alex… Click To Tweet
Ordinarily I would have loved to play for England since I have played for all the under-aged teams up to the U- 19, but Austin Okocha, my mother’s relation, who I respect a lot for his exploits with the Super Eagles and most especially for his records with Bolton Football Club. And also the outstanding records of Kanu Nwankwo that I met and read about in England, influenced my decision to play for Nigeria.
My dad too has told me a lot of things about the honour and pride that goes with playing for one’s father’s land….So I thought a lot about this and decided to play for Nigeria.
19. He was pleasantly shocked by the reaction he got from Nigerian fans the first time he played for the country on Nigerian soil. He told Guardian UK,
Everyone appreciates you. You’re almost like a king! When I arrived at the airport I thought, I’ll just have my earphones in, but everyone was like ‘Iwobi! Iwobi!’ Oh gosh. Hi guys! I didn’t know what to expect. It was just mad. I always go with Kelechi Iheanacho. When we go we get escorted. Because I’m not used to the Nigerian culture as much as they are, they do help me with it. I can’t really speak the language that well. They help me with the fans. The fans are very different there. They don’t ask me for autographs, they ask for boots, money.
At my debut we played in a stadium that holds 30,000 and there was 60,000 – I don’t understand how. People were standing on the floodlights, on the scoreboard. I was thinking, ‘What? This isn’t even safe!’ But people there will do anything to watch the match. Sometimes in a Premier League game the fans are a bit quiet but in Nigeria you just hear trumpets, everything. The atmosphere is so different compared to England.
20. He is still adjusting to fame. He describes a scary encounter with a fan as he drove home with his mom from the Emirates Stadium in London,
I thought, this fan is going to follow me to my destination. It was crazy. I was almost scared. He chased me screaming, ‘Iwobi! Iwobi!’ For 20 minutes. It was a bit too much.