Francis Uzoho

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Francis Uzoho
Francis Uzoho.jpg
Uzoho playing for Nigeria in a friendly match against Argentina in 2017.
Personal information
Full name Francis Odinaka Uzoho[1]
Date of birth (1998-10-28) 28 October 1998 (age 20)[1]
Place of birth Nwangele, Imo State, Nigeria[1]
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Omonia
(on loan from Deportivo La Coruña)
Number 23
Youth career
2013–2016 Aspire Academy
2017 Deportivo La Coruña
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017–2018 Deportivo B 26 (0)
2017– Deportivo La Coruña 2 (0)
2018–2019Elche (loan) 7 (0)
2019Anorthosis Famagusta (loan) 3 (0)
2019–Omonia (loan) 0 (0)
National team
2017– Nigeria[2] 14 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:25, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12:21, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

Francis Odinaka Uzoho (born 28 October 1998), known simply as Francis in Spain,[3] is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Omonia, on loan from Deportivo de La Coruña, as a goalkeeper.

Club career[edit]

Born in Nwangele,[1] Uzoho joined the Senegal branch of Aspire Academy in 2013, aged 14;[4] initially a forward, he was converted into a goalkeeper after being deemed "too slow" at the age of 12.[5] In 2016, after impressing on a tournament in Barcelona, he joined Deportivo de La Coruña's Juvenil squad.[5]

Age rules meant that Uzoho could only become available to sign a contract with Dépor in January 2017;[6] shortly after signing his contract, he started to train with the first team.[7] Promoted to the reserve team ahead of the 2017–18 season, he made his senior debut on 10 September by starting in a 3–0 Segunda División B home win against Real Madrid Castilla.[8]

Uzoho made his first team – and La Liga – debut on 15 October 2017, starting in a 0–0 away draw against SD Eibar.[9] At the age of 18 years and 352 days, he became the youngest ever foreign goalkeeper to debut in La Liga, and the second-youngest player to appear in the league during the campaign, only behind Real Madrid's Achraf Hakimi.[10][11]

On 24 August 2018, Uzoho renewed his contract for three seasons[12] and was immediately loaned to Segunda División side Elche CF for one year.[13] In February 2019 he moved on loan to Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta,[14] in the search for more first-team football in the run up to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.[15]

After making his debut for the club, concerns were raised about his health certificate.[16] As a result, Anorthosis Famagusta were deducted 9 points, which they appealed.[17] The club's deduction appeal was rejected, although Uzoho's appeal against his personal penalty of a one-match ban and €1,000 fine was successful.[18]

In July 2019 he returned on loan to Cyprus, this time with Omonia.[19] He said he hoped his return to the country would be positive.[20]

International career[edit]

Uzoho with Nigeria against Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Uzoho represented Nigeria under-17s at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Aged only 14, he was an immediate backup to Dele Alampasu.[10][21]

In October 2017 Uzoho received his first call-up to the Nigerian senior squad.[22] He made his full international debut on 14 November, replacing Daniel Akpeyi in a 4–2 friendly win against Argentina.[23]

He was named in Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[24] By that time he was considered Nigeria's first-choice goalkeeper.[25]

He withdrew from the national squad in November 2018 due to injury.[26] He was a squad member at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.[27] Francis Uzoho was in goal for Nigeria in the 3rd place match against Tunisia[28]

Career statistics[edit]

International[edit]

As of match played 25 July 2019[29]
Nigeria
Year Apps Goals
2017 1 0
2018 11 0
2019 2 0
Total 14 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Profile" (in Spanish). Deportivo La Coruña. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Francis Uzoho". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Amunike avala a Francis" [Amunike rates Francis] (in Spanish). La Voz de Galicia. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  4. ^ "FIFA WORLD CUP DEBUT FOR FORMER ASPIRE FOOTBALL DREAMS KEEPER UZOHO". aspire.qa. Aspire Academy. 16 June 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Francis Uzoho: "A veces extraño jugar en punta"" [Francis Uzoho: "Sometimes I miss playing up front"] (in Spanish). La Voz de Galicia. 30 August 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  6. ^ "El Dépor ficha al nigeriano Francis Uzoho" [Dépor sign the Nigerian Francis Uzoho] (in Spanish). Riazor. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Una promesa nigeriana se entrena con el primer equipo del Deportivo" [A Nigerian prospect trains with the first team of Deportivo] (in Spanish). La Voz de Galicia. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  8. ^ "El Castilla sucumbe ante el Depor en tan solo veinte minutos" [Castilla fall against Depor within only twenty minutes] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 10 September 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Eibar-Dépor will be remembered for Francis' debut". Deportivo La Coruña. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  10. ^ a b Oluwashina Okeleji (16 October 2017). "Nigerian Uzoho revels in historic La Liga debut". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  11. ^ "El portero del Deportivo Francis Uzoho entra en la historia de LaLiga" [Deportivo goalkeeper Francis Uzoho goes into LaLiga's history] (in Spanish). Marca. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Francis renueva su contrato con el Dépor por 3 temporadas" [Francis renews his contract with Dépor for 3 seasons] (in Spanish). Deportivo La Coruña. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Francis jugará esta temporada cedido en el Elche" [Francis will play this season on loan at Elche] (in Spanish). Deportivo La Coruña. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho joins Anorthosis Famagusta on loan - Goal.com". www.goal.com.
  15. ^ "Francis Uzoho: Nigeria keeper moves for first-team football". 1 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  16. ^ "Francis Uzoho: Nigeria keeper caught up in Cyprus 'health certificate' probe". 9 February 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  17. ^ "Francis Uzoho: Cypriot club Anorthosis to appeal points penalty". 19 February 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  18. ^ "Uzoho wins appeal against one-match ban". 24 February 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  19. ^ https://eldesmarque.com/coruna/deportivo/noticias/39538-francis-uzoho-omonia-nicosia
  20. ^ "Francis Uzoho: Nigerian hoping to write a 'good chapter' after Cyprus return". 28 July 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  21. ^ "Nigerian-born teenage goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho makes La Liga debut". Daily Post. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  22. ^ Oluwashina Okeleji (5 November 2017). "Deportivo goalkeeper Uzoho delight at Nigeria call-up". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Argentina 2-4 Nigeria: Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scores twice as Super Eagles win friendly in Russia". Daily Mail. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  24. ^ "World Cup 2018: Arsenal's Iwobi in Nigeria's 23-man squad". 3 June 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  25. ^ "World Cup 2018: Nigeria's Uzoho still on a 'learning curve'". 11 June 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  26. ^ "Injury forces Francis Uzoho to withdraw from Nigeria squad". 6 November 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  27. ^ "Nigeria: Super Eagles' Team List for Afcon 2019". 12 June 2019 – via AllAfrica.
  28. ^ "Bronze for Nigeria as Super Eagles beat Tunisia 1-0 to win 3rd-place game of AFCON 2019". www.pulse.ng. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  29. ^ "Francis Uzoho". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 23 June 2018.

External links[edit]