John with Twente in 2011
|Full name||Ola John|
|Date of birth||19 May 1992|
|Place of birth||Zwedru, Liberia|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2014||→ Hamburger SV (loan)||8||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 28 February 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).
As a two-year-old, John fled with his mother and brothers from Liberia to the Netherlands. His father was killed during the bloody First Liberian Civil War. He did not return to the African continent until the Youth World Championship in Nigeria in 2009. As a child, he played at the amateur club VV DES in Nijverdal. Like his brothers Collins and Paddy, Ola joined the youth academy of FC Twente.
The 2011–12 season was the big breakthrough for John at FC Twente, as he got a starting place from Co Adriaanse at the start of the season, and did not lose that even with competition for the left forward position, as Nacer Chadli returned from injury. He also topped the UEFA Europa League group stage assist rankings with six assists. In Twente's home match in the Europa League against Odense BK on 3 November, John provided all three assists in a 3–2 win. John was influential in the Eredivisie campaign as well, netting two goals in a 6–2 victory over FC Utrecht on 4 December 2011.
On 24 May 2012, John signed for Portuguese giants Benfica for an initial €9 million – eventually rising to €12 million due to clauses – on a five-year deal that includes a €45 million release clause. After struggling to find his space in the first team during his initial months in Lisbon, John became a regular starter or used substitute in the second half of Benfica's 2012–13 campaign, which included presences in UEFA Europa League and Portuguese Cup finals.
He was loaned to Hamburg for the remainder of the 2013–14 season on 17 January 2014. He remain in the squad for the new season, scoring his first league goal for Benfica at 12 September 2014, against Vitória Sétubal. On 5 October, he made 2 assists in a 4–0 home win against Arouca in Portuguese league.
In February 2012, John was called up for the first time by Bert van Marwijk to represent the senior Netherlands football team for the game against England at Wembley. On 7 May 2012, he was named in the provisional list of 36 players for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament, one of nine uncapped players to be chosen by Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk as part of the preliminary squad.
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2014
- UEFA Europa League: Runner-up 2012–13
- Taça de Portugal: Runner-up 2012–13
- "Interview Ola John" (in Dutch). OnsOranje.nl. 8 October 2009.
- "Ola John". ESPN FC. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Scholten, Berend (28 November 2011). "John coming on strong at Twente". UEFA.com. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "OB make Twente work hard for early progress". UEFA.com. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Report: FC Utrecht v Twente Enschede". ESPN FC. 4 December 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Official: Benfica sign Ola John from Twente". Goal.com. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Tijd. "'Benfica heeft FC Twente-talent John beet'" (in Dutch). Voetbalprimeur.nl. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012.
- "Official: Hamburgo confirma chegada de Ola John por empréstimo" (in Portuguese). dn.pt. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "V. Setúbal-Benfica, 0-5 (crónica)" [Vitória Setubal- Benfica, 0-5 (chronicle)]. Maisfutebol.iol.pt (in Portuguese). 12 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
- Benfica - Arouca (Jornada 7 Primeira Liga 2014-2015) - Liga Portugal
- Jackson, Jamie (28 February 2012). "Holland rediscover their old sparkle after that bitter taste of orange". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Euro 2012: Emanuelson misses out". ESPN FC. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "John, Ola" (in German). kicker.de. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Ola John". Soccerway. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- Includes Johan Cruijff-schaal XVI and Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira.
- Voetbal International (Dutch)
- Ola John career statistics at Soccerbase
- Ola John profile at Soccerway
- Ola John at National-Football-Teams.com
- Ola John – FIFA competition record
- Ola John – UEFA competition record