Odion Ighalo

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Odion Ighalo
Odion Ighalo 20140802.jpg
Personal information
Full name Odion Jude Ighalo
Date of birth (1989-06-16) 16 June 1989 (age 25)
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 24
Youth career
2000–2005 Prime
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2006 Prime 5 (0)
2006–2007 Julius Berger 10 (5)
2007–2008 Lyn 20 (9)
2008–2014 Udinese 5 (1)
2009–2010 Granada (loan) 28 (17)
2010 Cesena (loan) 3 (0)
2011–2014 Granada (loan) 99 (18)
2014 Watford (loan) 8 (3)
2014– Watford 18 (14)
National team
2009 Nigeria U20 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:16, 26 February 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Odion Jude Ighalo (born 16 June 1989) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for English club Watford as a striker.

Club career[edit]

Early years / Lyn[edit]

Born in Lagos, Ighalo played in his country with Prime F.C. and Julius Berger FC, where he was discovered by FIFA agent Marcelo Houseman who recommended him to Atta Aneke, being subsequently taken on trial by Norway's Lyn Fotball.

He made his Tippeligaen debut on 16 September 2007 at the age of just 18, scoring in a 2–0 home win against Viking FK. He netted six goals in 13 games in his second year to help his team to the seventh position, and subsequently arose interest from other clubs in the country, with SK Brann reporting Lyn to the Football Association of Norway for unfairness in the negotiation process.[1]

Udinese / Granada[edit]

On 30 July 2008 Ighalo signed for Udinese Calcio in Italy, moving alongside teammate Jo Inge Berget and agreeing to a five-year contract.[2] He appeared rarely in Serie A in his debut season, scoring against Cagliari Calcio in a 6–2 home routing –[3] four of his five league appearances came as a late substitute.

Ighalo was loaned to Granada CF in the 2009 summer, as part of the partnership agreement between Udinese and the Spaniards.[4][5][6] He scored 17 times in his first year (playoffs included)[7] and five in the second, as both seasons ended in promotion;[8][9] this was interspersed with a brief loan stint back in Italy with A.C. Cesena.[10]

Ighalo continued playing with Granada in the following years, still owned by the Udine side.[11][12] He played his first La Liga match on 27 August 2011, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in a 0–1 home loss to Real Betis.[13]


Ighalo joined Watford on a season-long loan deal from Udinese, on 29 July 2014.[14] He made his debut for the English in the first round of the Football League Cup at Stevenage on 12 August, and scored his first goal against Brentford on 30 September by tucking the ball home after his initial penalty was saved by David Button.

On 24 October 2014 Watford terminated Ighalo's loan, and resigned him on a permanent deal the same day after Udinese released him from his contract.[15]

On 24 January 2015, Ighalo scored 4 second half goals and was voted man of the match as Watford defeated Blackpool 7–2, after Blackpool had lead 0–2 at half time.[16] Ighalo took his tally to 14 goals after scoring twice, including an injury time winner as Watford came from a goal down to beat Brentford 2–1.[17]

A variation on the song Gold by Spandau Ballet is sung by Watford supporters as a tribute to Ighalo. The lyrics 'You are Gold' in the chorus is replaced with 'Ighalo-oh'.[18]


  1. ^ "Lyn, Brann og Odion Ighalo" (in Norwegian). FC Lyn. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Blir trist å forlate Lyn" (in Norwegian). FC Lyn. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Udinese-Cagliari 6–2: Quagliarella saluta nella festa del goal" [Udinese-Cagliari 6–2: Quagliarella salutes in goal party] (in Italian). Goal.com. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Apuesta de futuro por el Granada CF" [Granada CF bets on future] (in Spanish). Granada CF. 10 July 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Pistoletazo de salida al Granada C.F. 2009/2010" [Starting gun to Granada C.F. 2009/2010] (in Spanish). Granada CF. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Odion Ighalo, nuevo jugador del Granada C.F." [Odion Ighalo, new Granada C.F. player] (in Spanish). Granada CF. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "El Granada, a medio palmo del ascenso" [Granada, inches away from promotion] (in Spanish). Ideal. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Granada, en Primera 35 años después" [Granada, in Primera 35 years after] (in Spanish). Marca. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ighalo, el goleador oportuno" [Ighalo, the timely scorer] (in Spanish). El País. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Ufficiale: Ighalo al Cesena" [Official: Ighalo to Cesena] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ighalo vuelve cedido a Granada" [Ighalo returns to Granada on loan] (in Spanish). Marca. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Ighalo jugará en el Granada su quinta campaña consecutiva cedido por Udinense [sic]" [Ighalo to play his fifth consecutive campaign with Granada loaned by Udinense] (in Spanish). Ideal. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Rubén Castro hace justicia" [Rubén Castro does justice] (in Spanish). El País. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Udinese striker Odion Ighalo agrees one-year loan switch to Watford". Watford Observer. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Official: Ighalo signs permanent deal". Watford F.C. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Watford vs. Blackpool 24/01/2015 Match Report". BBC. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  17. ^ http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/31105995.app
  18. ^ "Watford Fans Sing Ighalo's Name". Instagram. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 

External links[edit]