Emmanuel Amunike

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Emmanuel Amunike
Personal information
Full name Emmanuel Amunike
Date of birth (1970-12-25) 25 December 1970 (age 46)
Place of birth Eziobodo, Nigeria
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Nigeria U17 (coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990 Concord
1991 Julius Berger
1991–1994 Zamalek 71 (26)
1994–1996 Sporting CP 51 (17)
1996–2000 Barcelona 19 (1)
2000–2002 Albacete 17 (1)
2003 Busan I'Cons
2003–2004 Al-Wahdat 22 (0)
Total 180 (45)
National team
1993–2001 Nigeria 27 (9)
Teams managed
2008 Al Hazm (assistant)
2008–2009 Julius Berger
2009–2011 Ocean Boys
2014– Nigeria U17
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Emmanuel Amunike (often misspelled Amuneke; born 25 December 1970 in Eziobodo) is a Nigerian retired footballer who played as a left winger, and a current coach.

His professional career was blighted by injury.[1] He represented Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup.[2]

Club career[edit]

In his early career, Amunike won the domestic league titles in Nigeria and Egypt, while playing for Julius Berger F.C. and Zamalek SC respectively. In 1994, he signed for Sporting Clube de Portugal, scoring seven league goals in his first season, including one against S.L. Benfica in the Lisbon derby (1–0 home win on 1 December 1994), and adding the campaign's Portuguese Cup.

In the 1996 December transfer window, Amunike was bought by La Liga giants FC Barcelona for $3.6 million, making his official debut on the 22nd in a 1–0 home win against Celta de Vigo[3] and scoring on 16 March of the following year in a 1–0 success at CD Logroñés.[4] His spell in Catalonia would be effectively ended in the 1997 off-season after he suffered a serious knee injury, following which he appeared very rarely for the club (only three league games in three full seasons combined).

Amunike never fully recovered from his condition after being released by Barça in 2000, playing for Albacete Balompié (also Spain, Segunda División), Busan I'Cons (South Korea, only a couple of months) and Al-Wahdat SC (Amman) (Jordan), retiring from football at the age of 33. In 2008, he spent some time as an assistant coach at Saudi Premier League side Al-Hazm, but left to become a scout for Manchester United.

On 23 December 2008, Amunike took over the head coaching duties at former team Julius Berger, after completing two years of coaching courses in Europe.[5] For a while, he combined this position with the role for the Red Devils, but eventually quit his post in England to concentrate on his coaching career.

Amunike was sacked halfway through his first season after conflicts with management, despite saving the team from relegation.[6] The club however later claimed he was sacked for "over gross insubordination". He was hired in early November 2009 as the new coach of Ocean Boys FC.[7]

International career[edit]

Amunike played 27 times for Nigeria, scoring nine goals.[8] He was part of the team that participated at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, a first-ever for the African country, scoring against Bulgaria (3–0 group stage win) and Italy (1–2 round-of-16 loss);[9] also in that year, he helped the Super Eagles win the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, eventually being voted African Footballer of the Year.

Additionally, Amunike played all the games at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, scoring the winning goal in the final as the national team won the gold medal.[10] Knee problems kept him out of the 1998 World Cup.

Personal life[edit]

Amunike's younger brothers, Kingsley and Kevin, were also footballers.[11] Both also played several years in Portugal, amongst other countries.


  1. ^ "Las lesiones no dejaron cicatrices en Amunike" [Injuries left no scars in Amunike] (in Spanish). FIFA.com. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  2. ^ The Super Eagle with broken wings; FIFA.com
  3. ^ "De 'Aguinaldo', bronca" [From 'Aguinaldo', boos] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 23 December 1996. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Amunike salva al Barça" [Amunike saves Barça] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 17 March 1997. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Amunike bags Berger job; All Africa, 23 December 2008
  6. ^ Why I left Berger Archived 7 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine.; The Punch
  7. ^ Ex-Barcelona winger Emmanuel Amunike to coach Nigeria's Ocean Boys; Goal.com, 3 November 2009
  8. ^ World Cup France 1998 – Nigeria; at Sports Illustrated
  9. ^ Eagles grounded as Baggio wakes; FIFA.com
  10. ^ Emmanuel AmunikeFIFA competition record
  11. ^ Scott‏, Carl-Gustaf (16 September 2015). African Footballers in Sweden: Race, Immigration, and Integration in the Age of Globalization. Springer. ISBN 978-1-1375-3509-2. 

External links[edit]