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
Elche
(on loan from Deportivo La Coruña)
Number 28
Youth career
2013–2016 Aspire Academy
2017 Deportivo La Coruña
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017–2018 Deportivo B 24 (0)
2017– Deportivo La Coruña 2 (0)
2018–Elche (loan) 3 (0)
National team
Nigeria U17
2017– Nigeria[2] 13 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:33, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 October 2018

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

Club career[edit]

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

Age rules meant that Uzoho could only become available to sign a contract with Dépor in January 2017;[5] shortly after signing his contract, he started to train with the first team.[6] 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.[7]

Uzoho made his first team – and La Liga – debut on 15 October 2017, starting in a 0–0 away draw against SD Eibar.[8] 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.[9][10]

On 24 August 2018, Uzoho renewed his contract for three seasons[11] and was immediately loaned to Segunda División side Elche CF for one year.[12]

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.[9][13]

In October 2017 Uzoho received his first call-up to the Nigerian senior squad.[14] He made his full international debut on 14 November, replacing Daniel Akpeyi in a 4–2 friendly win against Argentina.[15]

He was named in Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[16] By that time he was considered Nigeria's first-choice goalkeeper.[17]

He withdrew from the national squad in November 2018 due to injury.[18]

Career statistics[edit]

International[edit]

Statistics accurate as of match played 26 June 2018.[19]
Nigeria
Year Apps Goals
2017 1 0
2018 8 0
Total 9 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. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "El Dépor ficha al nigeriano Francis Uzoho" [Dépor sign the Nigerian Francis Uzoho] (in Spanish). Riazor. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "Eibar-Dépor will be remembered for Francis' debut". Deportivo La Coruña. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b Oluwashina Okeleji (16 October 2017). "Nigerian Uzoho revels in historic La Liga debut". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Nigerian-born teenage goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho makes La Liga debut". Daily Post. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  14. ^ Oluwashina Okeleji (5 November 2017). "Deportivo goalkeeper Uzoho delight at Nigeria call-up". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44346451
  17. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44438050
  18. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46030232
  19. ^ "Francis Uzoho". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 23 June 2018.

External links[edit]