Ifeanyi Udeze

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Ifeanyi Udeze
Personal information
Full name Ifeanyi Udeze
Date of birth (1980-07-21) 21 July 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
unattached
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997 Bendel Insurance ? (?)
1997–2000 Kavala 59 (0)
2000–2002 PAOK 33 (0)
2003 West Bromwich Albion (loan) 10 (0)
2003–2006 PAOK 70 (1)
2006–2007 AEK Athens 3 (0)
2007–2008 PAOK 0 (0)
National team
2000–2004 Nigeria 35 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 March 2008.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 May 2007

Ifeanyi Udeze (born 21 July 1980) is a Nigerian football player. He played for Nigeria and was a participant at the 2002 World Cup and is currently a free agent after being released by PAOK Thessaloniki in the winter of the 2007-08 season.

With a height of 1.79 m, he usually plays as a left fullback, being also used as center back when needed.

Club career[edit]

Udeze played for clubs such as Bendel Insurance FC, AO Kavalas (Greece), and PAOK Thessaloniki, before joining West Bromwich Albion in 2003. In his first season with the Albion, he played in the Premier League, joining the club on loan in the latter stages of the season; however, his efforts were to no avail, and Albion were relegated.

He was released from AEK Athens on January 2007 after six months from the signing of a 3-year contract on 11 August 2006.

On 4 July 2007 he returned to PAOK FC, signing a two-year deal. A niggling knee injury prevented him from grabbing a first team spot[1] and he was released after a year at the club.

International career[edit]

Ifeanyi Udeze first came into international limelight at the inaugural UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup held in Portugal in 1997 - a tournament where Spain's Xavi Hernandez and Portugal's Simao made their mark. Udeze was a member of the Fanny Amun-led Nigerian squad that beat Spain 3-2 to win the tournament. Some members of the squad include Rabiu Afolabi, Joseph Enakarhire, Bright Igbinadalor, Chijioke Nwankpa, Hashimu Garba, Aliyu Mohammed, and goalkeeper Greg Etafia.

Udeze made his full international debut in 2001. He went on to feature for Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2002 and 2004, and Korea and Japan World Cup in 2002 - playing two games.

At the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations held in Mali, he was selected among the CAF Team of the Tournament.

During his playing days, he was Super Eagles' second choice left-back to former Chelsea left-back, Celestine Babayaro. On some occasions, he played together with Babayaro; both switching positions from the left full-back to the left wing of the midfield, often confusing opponents with their identical style of play.

Udeze was noted for his feistiness, intelligent marking and remarkable recovery rate. He was Nigeria's most fouled defender in games he featured in. Whenever he joined the attack, he was seldom dispossessed of the ball without winning a free-kick, corner or throw-in.

Udeze last featured for Nigeria in a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Angola in 2005.

External links[edit]