Ifeanyi Emeghara

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Ifeanyi Emeghara
Personal information
Full name Ifeanyi Innocent Emeghara
Date of birth (1984-03-24) 24 March 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Right back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Ebedei
2003–2004 FK Teleoptik
2004–2006 FK Partizan 36 (0)
2006–2007 Politehnica Timișoara 42 (0)
2007–2011 Steaua București 34 (0)
2011 Steaua București 8 (0)
2013 Gabala 4 (0)
National team
2007– Nigeria 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 May 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).

Ifeanyi Innocent Emeghara (born 24 March 1984 in Lagos) is a Nigerian football player. "Ifeanyi" is a nickname for the Igbo name "Ifeanyichukwu" (meaning "Nothing is impossible with God").[1] He most recently played for Gabala in the Azerbaijan Premier League.

A young and versatile defender, Emeghara can be seen on both sides of the pitch and is often noted for his good technique.

Amongst his childhood friends and teammates are the likes of Obafemi Martins and Stephen Makinwa.

Club career[edit]

Partizan[edit]

Emeghara arrived in Serbia in summer 2003 and started playing for the FK Partizan satellite club FK Teleoptik, where he played for one season. After convincing there, he started playing for Partizan in the Serbia and Montenegro League where he played for 2 years gaining 36 appearances. With Partizan, he won one national championship in 2004–05 and made the round of 16 in the UEFA Cup where the club lost out to the eventual champions, CSKA Moscow.

Politehnica Timișoara[edit]

Emeghara signed for $650.000 with FCU Politehnica Timişoara in 2006 a contract for 4 years. He was under the observation of many important clubs, such as AJ Auxerre and CSKA Moscow, but he eventually chose Politehnica Timișoara.

In January 2007, he suffered a surgery on his left forearm, after he broke his arm while he was in Nigeria on holiday. The operation was a success he went back to training in the next 3 weeks.

Emeghara had a salary of 135.000 euros per year. He was the second most used player in the 2006–07 season in Liga I playing 42 matches and a total of 2.491 minutes, after Jonathan McKain with 2.610 minutes.

Steaua București[edit]

On 25 July 2007, Emeghara signed with Steaua Bucureşti for 4 years.[2] The transfer fee was of €1.2 million and he was given a salary of €150.000 per season plus bonuses if Steaua București will qualify in the UEFA Champions League group stage. While at Steaua, Emeghara had some cardiac problems. Steaua's medical staff discovered a heart problem and the player had stop all physical efforts.

Gigi Becali, Steaua București's owner, said that if Emeghara will end his football career because of this medical issue he will get from Politehnica Timişoara €600.000, half of the transfer fee. Marian Iancu said that he didn't show any medical problems while he was playing for Politehnica. The medical staff announced that Emeghara has a larger heart than an average human, but it is said that most African football players have larger hearts and that Ifeanyi will still be playing football at the highest level.

"I live a great joy in this moment, because I went on the field after a very long time. I hope with all my heart to be healthy and not have part of bad luck. I am happy that I won this match and I would love to keep so."

Said Ifeanyi Emeghara after the game (13 December 2009).[3]

Emeghara debuted for Steaua București against Rapid Bucureşti, match ended undecided 0–0. He previously played for Steaua in a friendly against Charleroi which also ended with a draw (1–1). Emeghara didn't play any match since 8 March 2008, because of a knee injury. In October 2009 has returned to training and on 11 October played his first game after injury in the friendly match with FC Snagov, Steaua won 3–0.[4]

He evolved first in an official game after more than a year and a half absence on 13 December 2009 against Internaţional, coming on in the 46th minute to replace Eugen Baciu.[3]

On September 2011 he signed a three-month extension with Steaua. In December 2011, Emeghara became a free agent.

Gabala[edit]

After a year without a team Emeghara signed a 1-year contract with Azerbaijan Premier League team Gabala in January 2013.[5] Emeghara was released by Gabala half way through his contract at the end of the 2012–13 season.

Career statistics[edit]

As of 2 April 2013
Club statistics
Season Club League League Cup League Cup Other Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Serbia and Montenegro League Serbian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2004–05 Partizan Serbian SuperLiga 24 0 4 0 11 0 39 0
2005–06 12 0 1 0 4 0 17 0
Romania League Cupa României League Cup Europe Total
2005-06 Politehnica Timişoara Liga I 14 0 0 0 0 0 14 0
2006–07 28 0 5 0 0 0 33 0
2007–08 Steaua București 12 0 1 0 5 0 18 0
2008–09 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009–10 11 0 0 0 1 0 12 0
2010–11 6 0 0 0 3 0 9 0
2011–12 8 0 1 0 2 0 11 0
Azerbaijan League Azerbaijan Cup League Cup Europe Total
2012–13[6] Gabala Azerbaijan Premier League 4 0 0 0 4 0
Total Serbia and Montenegro 36 0 5 0 0 0 15 0 56 0
Romania 79 0 7 0 0 0 11 0 97 0
Azerbaijan 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Total 119 0 12 0 0 0 26 0 157 0

Transfer offers[edit]

After his match against Sevilla on 7 November 2007, the Spanish team has shown interest in Emeghara. He was one of the best players from Steaua București in both home and away games against Sevilla. Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, Sevilla's scouter, will be further monitoring Emeghara. The manager of Olympique Lyonnais, Alain Perrin, said that the team needs another left-back since he's not pleased by Fabio Grosso's performances. Aurel Damian, Emeghara's manager said that he won't present any offers to Gigi Becali until the winter transfer market. At the end of 2007, Emeghara had 15 official games for Steaua. According to this statistic made by Steaua supporters he was one of the best players of the season, with an average of 7.89/10.

International career[edit]

Emeghara was called up to the Nigerian national team before the 2006 African Cup of Nations as a prospective player for the famed tournament, but decided not to take part in these preparations, as he had just signed for Poli and didn't want to miss the pre-season training with this new team.

In August 2006 Victor Piturca wanted Emeghara to play for the Romanian national team as a left back. Emeghara refused the offer because he wanted to play for the Nigerian national football team. He was called again in November 2007 to the Nigerian national football team by manager Berti Vogts. He will be replacing Taye Taiwo from Olympic Marseille who due to his average performance didn't take part of the manager's plans against Australia and Switzerland. Emeghara made his international debut on 17 November 2007 for Nigeria in the loss against Australia with 0–1. He was a member of Nigeria's 23-man squad to the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

Honours[edit]

Partizan
Steaua București

References[edit]

External links[edit]