Ifeanyi Udeze

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Ifeanyi Udeze
Personal information
Full name Ifeanyi Udeze
Date of birth (1980-07-21) 21 July 1980 (age 36)
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997 Bendel Insurance ? (?)
1997–2000 Kavala 59 (0)
2000–2002 PAOK 33 (0)
2003 West Bromwich Albion (loan) 10 (0)
2003–2006 PAOK 70 (1)
2006–2007 AEK Athens 3 (0)
2007–2008 PAOK 0 (0)
National team
2000–2005 Nigeria 35 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 March 2008.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 May 2007

Ifeanyi Udeze (born 21 July 1980) is a retired Nigerian football player. He played for Nigeria and was a participant at the 2002 World Cup. He usually played as a left fullback, being also used as center back.

Club career[edit]

Udeze played for clubs such as Bendel Insurance FC, AO Kavalas (Greece), and PAOK Thessaloniki, before joining West Bromwich Albion in 2003. In his first season with the Albion, he played in the Premier League, joining the club on loan in the latter stages of the season after which Albion were relegated.

He was released from AEK Athens on January 2007, six months after signing a three-year contract on 11 August 2006.

On 4 July 2007 he returned to PAOK FC, signing a two-year deal. A niggling knee injury prevented him from grabbing a first team spot[1] and he was released after a year at the club.

International career[edit]

Udeze first came into international limelight at the inaugural UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup held in Portugal in 1997, a tournament where Spain's Xavi Hernandez and Portugal's Simao made their mark. He was a member of the Fanny Amun-led Nigerian squad that beat Spain 3–2 to win the tournament. Some members of the squad included Rabiu Afolabi, Joseph Enakarhire, Bright Igbinadolor, Chijioke Nwankpa, Hashimu Garba, and Mohammed Aliyu Datti.

Having made his full international debut in 2001, Udeze went on to feature for Nigeria at the 2002 African Cup of Nations and 2004, and the 2002 World Cup, playing two games.

At the 2002 African Cup of Nations held in Mali, he was selected among the CAF Team of the Tournament.

During his playing days, he was Super Eagles' second choice left-back to former Chelsea left-back, Celestine Babayaro. On some occasions, he played together with Babayaro; both switching positions from the left full-back to the left wing of the midfield, often confusing opponents with their identical style of play.

Udeze was noted for his feistiness, intelligent marking and remarkable recovery rate. He was Nigeria's most fouled defender in games he featured in. Whenever he joined the attack, he was seldom dispossessed of the ball without winning a free-kick, corner or throw-in.

Udeze last featured for Nigeria in a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Angola national football team in 2005.

External links[edit]