Ogenyi Onazi

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Ogenyi Onazi
Personal information
Full name Ogenyi Eddy Onazi
Date of birth (1992-12-25) 25 December 1992 (age 22)[1]
Place of birth Jos, Nigeria
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Central Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 23
Youth career
El Kanemi Warriors
My People
2011–2012 Lazio
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012– Lazio 56 (2)
National team
2009 Nigeria U17 7 (0)
2011 Nigeria U20 5 (0)
2012– Nigeria 26 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 December 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 November 2014

Ogenyi Eddy Onazi (born 25 December 1992) is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Serie A club Lazio and the Nigeria national football team.

Club career[edit]

Early years in Nigeria[edit]

Onazi began playing football on in he streets of Jos at an early age in 1998. His football skills and abilities drew a lot of attention to him and afforded him the opportunity to play in some academies in the city.

His footballing abilities came to prominence when he moved to the city of Lagos to play for My People, a team founded and funded by Senior Prophet T.B Joshua.


Onazi joined Lazio in 2011, alongside his teammate, Sani Emmanuel. The pair trialled in Italy following their impressive performances at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, in which Nigeria reached the final on home soil, losing to Switzerland.

Onazi was first promoted to the Lazio first team during the 2011–12 season after impressing at youth level. He made his Serie A debut as a substitute in the penultimate match of the season, replacing Senad Lulić in the 90th minute. Lazio recorded a 2-0 victory over Atalanta at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia in Bergamo.[2]

Under coach Vladimir Petković, Onazi was granted more playing time alongside Cristian Ledesma in a defensive midfielder role. Notably, Onazi started in a UEFA Europa League match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

On 7 March 2013, Onazi scored his first goal for Lazio against Stuttgart in the last sixteen of the Europa League. The game ended 2–0 to Lazio.[3]

Onazi scored his first Serie A goal in a 3–1 win over Inter Milan on 8 May 2013.[4]

Onazi scored his 2nd Serie A goal for Lazio in a 4-2 defeat to Napoli

On 22 September 2014, Onazi signed a two-year contract extension with Italian Serie A club Lazio until 2018. He stated "I give God the glory and special thanks to everyone involved in sorting out this new deal," the 21-year-old told BBC Sport. "It's important to know that your future at the club is sorted; I've always insisted that I love it here and I'm delighted to stay."

Onazi has stated his desire to join English Premier League club Liverpool F.C in the future saying he would not be able to turn them down if they came after him.

International career[edit]

As a 16-year-old, Onazi represented his country at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where Nigeria finished runners-up.

However, Onazi was overlooked for selection at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup two years later, despite participating in the training camps in Portugal and Panama.[5]

He made his debut for the senior Nigeria national team in an African Cup of Nations qualification match against Liberia.

Onazi's first goal came in just his second international match, a 3-1 friendly win over Venezuela in Florida.

He was called up to Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.[6] Onazi came on as a substitute in Nigeria's first match of the tournament against Burkina Faso, whom they would eventually face again in the final. Notably, Onazi played every minute of all Nigeria's games in the knockout phase, including the final.

He was selected for Nigeria's squad at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.[7] but missed out of the tournament as he suffered a slight knee knock a few weeks before the competition.

Onazi was named in Nigeria's final squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and started in all four games as Nigeria finished second in their group and were eliminated by France at the Round of 16.[citation needed]




  1. ^ Ogenyi OnaziFIFA competition record
  2. ^ http://www.football-italia.net/SerieA/match/9925 SERIE A MATCH REPORT Serie A Week 37–6 May 2012 (15.00 UK) Atalanta 0 - 2 Lazio
  3. ^ Ederson e Onazi, Lazio padrona d'Europa ilmessaggero.it
  4. ^ "Serie A, Inter 1–3 Lazio". F.C. Internazionale Milano. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Eaglet Onazi soars to fly with the Super Eagles
  6. ^ Oluwashina Okeleji (10 January 2013). "Nations Cup 2013: Nigeria pick six locally-based players". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Nigeria to take new-look squad to Confederations Cup". BBC Sport. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 

External links[edit]