Kalu Uche

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For another Nigerian footballer, see Uche Kalu.
Kalu Uche
Personal information
Full name Kalu Uche
Date of birth (1982-11-15) 15 November 1982 (age 32)
Place of birth Aba, Nigeria
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Forward / Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Al Rayyan
Number 9
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998 Enyimba
1999–2000 Iwuanyanwu Nationale
2000–2001 Espanyol B 2 (0)
2001–2005 Wisła Kraków 54 (10)
2004–2005 Bordeaux (loan) 24 (1)
2005–2011 Almería 172 (39)
2011–2012 Neuchâtel Xamax 14 (6)
2012 Espanyol 15 (6)
2012–2013 Kasımpaşa 34 (19)
2013–2014 El Jaish 8 (4)
2014– Al Rayyan 8 (7)
National team
2003– Nigeria 36 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 June 2012

Kalu Uche (born 15 November 1982) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Al Rayyan SC on loan from El Jaish SC in the Qatar Stars League, as a forward or an attacking midfielder.[1]

He spent most of his professional career in Spain, mainly with Almería, with which he amassed La Liga totals of 117 games and 27 goals.

A Nigerian international in the 2000s, Uche represented his country at the 2010 World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in an Aba, Abia, Uche's career began in Nigeria with Enyimba International and Iwuanyanwu Nationale. In the 2000–01 season he joined RCD Espanyol B in Spain, failing to receive any first-team opportunities and competing with the reserves in the third division.

Uche then transferred to Wisła Kraków, playing there until 2005 – winning the Polish League three times and Polish Cup twice – except for the 2004–05 campaign when he represented FC Girondins de Bordeaux, on loan.[2]

Almería[edit]

For 2005–06 Uche moved to UD Almería, and was instrumental in helping the Andalusia outfit to its first ever La Liga promotion in his second year, scoring eight league goals (with three in the last five matches). He made his debut in the competition on 26 August 2007, coming from the bench in a 3–0 away win against Deportivo de La Coruña.

On 11 January 2009, profiting from the absence of first-choice Álvaro Negredo, Uche netted both goals in a 2–2 draw at Espanyol.[3] On 5 December he scored the side's second goal at Real Madrid for the 2–1, but the hosts eventually rallied back to 4–2.[4]

In the following summer Negredo was sold to Sevilla FC – via Real Madrid – and Uche became Almería's most important offensive reference. He finished the 2009–10 season with a career-best nine goals, namely a brace on 4 May 2010 against Villarreal CF in a 4–2 home win, which all but certified the club's permanence in the top level for another year.[5]

Uche spent the first month of 2010–11 on the sidelines, due to injury. In the second match upon his return, on 26 September 2010, he scored twice in a 2–0 success at Deportivo for Almería's first win of the campaign,[6] going on to net seven in 32 games as the team was finally relegated after a four-year stay.

Neuchâtel / Espanyol[edit]

On 4 August 2011, Uche joined Swiss Super League side Neuchâtel Xamax on a two-year deal.[7] He left the club in the following transfer window, however, and returned to Espanyol, immerse in a deep injury crisis to its offensive line, signing until June 2013.[8]

Uche opened his scoring account for his new club on 25 February 2012 in a 1–2 home loss against Levante UD.[9] On 11 March, he put three past Rayo Vallecano in another home fixture (5–1).[10]

Late career[edit]

On 20 July 2012 Uche moved to Turkish side Kasımpaşa SK, signing a three-year contract. On 1 October of the following year he switched clubs and countries again, penning a deal with El Jaish SC in Qatar.[11]

International career[edit]

Uche made his debut for Nigeria on 21 June 2003, in an African Nations Cup qualifier against Angola, scoring in the process.[12] He represented the nation at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, going scoreless for the eventual third-placed team.

After a solid club season Uche was picked for that year's FIFA World Cup, in South Africa: on 17 June, against Greece, he opened the score from a free kick, but the Africans soon were reduced to ten men and lost 1–2.[13] In the third and last game he also scored the opener, eventually earning Nigeria's only point in the competition in a 2–2 draw against South Korea.[14]

International goals[edit]

Updated as of 21 November 2011

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 21 June 2003 Benin City, Nigeria  Angola
1–2
2–2
2004 African Cup of Nations qualification
2. 27 May 2008 Graz, Austria  Austria
1–1
1–1
Friendly
3. 17 June 2010 Bloemfontein, South Africa  Greece
0–1
2–1
2010 FIFA World Cup
4. 22 June 2010 Durban, South Africa  South Korea
1–0
2–2
2010 FIFA World Cup
5. 15 November 2011 Kaduna, Nigeria  Zambia
1–0
2–0
Friendly

Personal[edit]

Uche's younger brother, Ikechukwu Uche, is also a footballer. Also a forward, he too spent most of his senior career in Spain (they are not related to two other players, Uche Okechukwu and Ikechukwu Kalu).[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2010 African Cup of Nations Player Profile". MTN Football. Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Uche gives Bordeaux a go". UEFA.com. 30 August 2004. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  3. ^ "Espanyol 2–2 Almeria". ESPN Soccernet. 11 January 2009. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Ronaldo endures eventful night". ESPN Soccernet. 5 December 2009. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Almeria boost survival hopes". ESPN Soccernet. 4 May 2010. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Uche breaks Almeria duck". ESPN Soccernet. 26 September 2010. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Les rouge et noir passent à l'offensive" [The rouge et noir go offensive] (in French). Neuchâtel Xamax. 4 August 2011. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Kalu Uche ficha por el Espanyol" [Kalu Uche ficha por el Espanyol]. Sport (in Spanish). 30 January 2012. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Levante claim last-gasp win". ESPN Soccernet. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Espanyol 5-1 Rayo Vallecano". MSN Sport. 11 March 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Uche arrives in the QSL". Qatar Stars League. 1 October 2013. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "2003 matches Africa". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  13. ^ Fletcher, Paul (17 June 2010). "Greece 2–1 Nigeria". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 17 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  14. ^ Vesty, Marc (22 June 2010). "Nigeria 2–2 South Korea". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "La liga de los hermanos Uche" [The league of Uche brothers]. Marca (in Spanish). 29 September 2005. Archived from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 

External links[edit]