Alex Iwobi is a Nigerian forward, he plays for the Super Eagles and Arsenal in England.
When was Alex Iwobi born?
Alex Iwobi was born on 3rd May, 1996 in Lagos, Nigeria to Mr and Mrs Chuba Iwobi. Mr Chuba Iwobi pursued a law career, achieving the status of a barrister.
Alex Iwobi has a sister, Marie Iwobi.
They moved to Turkey in 1998 with his family to join his uncle, Jay Jay Okocha while he was playing for Fernabache.
How is Jay Jay Okocha related to Alex Iwobi?
He is a nephew of former Nigeria and Bolton Wanderers captain, Jay Jay Okocha. At age 4, Iwobi’s family emigrated to England, where he still lives. He moved because Okocha transferred to Bolton Wanderers. Iwobi moved to east London, where he was raised.
Iwobi was drafted to Arsenal while in primary school at the age of 8 in 2004.
He agreed to stay at Arsenal to pursue a professional career in October 2005.
His time at the academy wasn’t all rosy. In his early teens, the club threatened to release him because he was not as big, fast or strong as other team mates. But his parents ensured he worked harder by booking private sessions with football legends Okocha and Kanu.
The extremely versatile player played positions from full back to centre forward till the gaffer found a befitting position for the young player.
He graduated from the Arsenal academy and has quickly adapted to the first team and the fame it brings.
Alex Iwobi’s Football career
Alex made his debut for the first team against Sheffield Wednesday on 27th October, 2015. Arsenal notably came out victorious in that League Cup, winning 3 to nil.
He went on to start his first Premier League match on the 31st of October, 2015 against Swansea city at Liberty Stadium. The 5feet 11inches forward replaced Mesut Özil in the dying minutes of the match.
First two goals are against Everton and Watford. These are the first games Iwobi started in the Premier League.
Iwobi made his Champions League debut in a 5-1 defeat away to Bayern Munich where he came on during the final minutes of the game.
He was called up to play for Nigeria after featuring at youth levels for England. He made his debut for Senior team on 8th October, 2015, coming on for Ahmed Musa in the second half against DR Congo in Belgium.
In 2016, Iwobi was chosen in the squad to represent Nigeria at the Summer Olympics. This year, during the Emirates Cup, Iwobi scored against Lyon. This made his manager Arsene Wenger to shower praises on this player, praising his movement and speed and emphasizing that he fits into his style of play.
In the build up to the 2018 World Cup, Iwobi scores against Zambia in Uyo, cementing Nigeria’s place at the upcoming global footballing event. He scored a lone goal in October 2017, this goal further endeared him to loving Nigerians. He confirmed the presence of his parents at the match which ended up being an emotional moment for the youngster. Recall, Iwobi opened the scoring against the Chipolopolo in Zambia in October 2016 in the WC initial qualifier matches.
On the 2nd of June, 2018, Nigeria faced England at the world class Wembley stadium in England. The match was highly attended by football fans of Nigerian and English descent and the atmosphere was electric. The recently released Super Eagles World Cup kit by Nike was on display and the fans absolutely loved it. Alex Iwobi impressed for the national side, scoring a goal and pulling one back in a 2-1 defeat. The youngster was described by goal as a different player whenever he featured in green and white. The sports outlet praised his impressive performance and pinpoints him as a likely creative contributor to the Nigerian World Cup display in Russia.
The 23-man World Cup was released by Rohr on 3rd June, 2018. It is no surprise that Alex Iwobi has been featured in the team sheet. Nigeria has been placed in the Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Argentina, Croatia and Iceland. This will be a great opportunity for the young team to gain vital experience playing at the top competitive level with other top players. Arsenal congratulated the 22-year old on this feat in their social media handle.
The World Cup bound Nigerian forward has two years left on his 30,000pounds a week contract but Arsenal is keen on securing the players loyalty to the club for much longer. A fairer wage deal to reflect his current stance on the team is being discussed.
Since October 2015, Alex Iwobi has bagged 18 caps for the Nigerian National team.
Alex Iwobi’s Personal Life
Until recently, Alex Iwobi has been in a 4 year relationship with his girlfriend, Clarisse Juliette. They broke up in 2017.
At age 22, Alex still lives with his family. He insists that his parents have been very helpful in assisting him invest his money wisely considering football careers are short.
On his role models, Alex Iwobi exalts Jay Jay Okocha for the role he has played in helping him gain traction in the footballing world. He reiterated that having a mentor so close, reminded him on the task at hand and sharpened his ambition.
In the national team, Alex is close to players like Kelechi Iheanacho and Mikel Obi.
He loves Nigerian delicacies and his father told goal that homemade Eba and Okra is the rising star’s favorite.
He targets getting many more call ups from the national team and winning trophies.
Nike released a football video unveiling the Nigerian jersey, starring stars like artist Wizkid, Leicester city youngsters Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho and Arsenal footballer Alex Iwobi. The Nigerian jersey ignites memories of the first World Cup and the 1994 African Cup of Nations, Alex Iwobi and Co were at the forefront of the unveiling. According to the polls ran on the sky sports website, the Nigerian jersey is the top jersey in terms of appearance at the upcoming 2018 World Cup.
After the Nigeria vs England friendly, Iwobi reiterated his surprise at the exit of his mentor and inspirational manager Arsene Wenger, after 22-years leading the club. He however stated that he is excited about showing his worth to the new manager, Unai Emery.
Alex’s Awards and Achievements
Alex Iwobi won The Community Shield twice with Arsenal in 2016 and 2018. He also has an FA Cup medal with Arsenal in 2017.