Uche as a Getafe player
|Full name||Ikechukwu Uche|
|Date of birth||5 January 1984|
|Place of birth||Aba, Nigeria|
|Height||1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|2011–2012||→ Granada (loan)||34||(3)|
|2016||→ Málaga (loan)||3||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 January 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Known for his acrobatic goal celebrations, he spent most of his professional career in Spain, having arrived in the country before the age of 20. He amassed La Liga totals of 194 games and 42 goals over the course of nine seasons, representing in the competition Recreativo, Getafe, Zaragoza, Villarreal, Granada and Málaga.
Born in Aba, Abia, Uche's career began in his country with Amanze United and Iwuanyanwu Nationale. Aged just 18, he moved to Racing de Ferrol in the Spanish second division, appearing in 24 games in his second season, which ended in relegation for the Galician team.
Uche then joined another club in the country's second level, Recreativo de Huelva, for a fee of US$300,000, and scored 12 goals in his first year, becoming the league's top scorer in the 2005–06 campaign at 20 in just 28 appearances (with five braces), as the Andalusians returned – as champions – to La Liga after a three-year absence.
In his first top flight season, Uche scored on eight occasions. Notably, he netted in three consecutive matches in November 2006 (with wins at Celta de Vigo and against CA Osasuna), helping Recre finish eight.
Real Zaragoza, recently returned to the top flight, agreed terms to sign Uche in July 2009, subject to medical. He was presented officially on the 22nd, and signed a four-year contract; in only his second match, a 1–4 loss at Sevilla FC, he suffered a severe knee injury, going on to miss seven months.
Uche recovered fully for Zaragoza's 2010–11 pre-season. However, he soon suffered another knee injury, being ruled out for another six months; his return to action took place on 19 February 2011 as he played 20 minutes in a 0–1 home loss against Atlético Madrid, hitting David de Gea's bar in the dying minutes of the game after an individual effort.
On 2 March 2011, Uche made his first start of the season, at home against Athletic Bilbao. On the 55th minute, he scored the final 2–1 for the Aragonese – his first goal since May 2009 – and cried profusely as he celebrated.
In the last day of the 2011 summer transfer window, Uche signed with Villarreal CF, being immediately loaned out to Granada CF. On 17 September, he scored the game's only goal against the team that held his rights, in a home fixture.
Subsequently, returned to the Yellow Submarine, Uche led his team in scoring as it returned to the top division in 2013. Highlights included braces in home wins over CD Mirandés (2–0), Sporting de Gijón (2–1), Girona FC (4–1) and at Racing de Santander (3–0). On 6 January 2014, back in the main category, he scored his first hat-trick as a professional to help to a 5–2 away routing of Rayo Vallecano.
- As of 15 November 2014
- Scores and results table. Nigeria's goal tally first:
|1||8 September 2007||Warri Township, Warri, Nigeria||Lesotho||2–0||2–0||2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|2||9 January 2008||MPFS Marbella, Estepona, Spain||Sudan||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|3||1 June 2008||Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria||South Africa||1–0||2–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
|4||21 June 2008||Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria||Equatorial Guinea||2–0||2–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
|5||6 September 2008||Telkom Park, Port Elizabeth, South Africa||South Africa||1–0||1–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
|6||7 June 2009||Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria||Kenya||1–0||3–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
|7||27 March 2011||Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria||Ethiopia||3–0||4–0||2012 African Cup of Nations qualification|
|8||27 March 2011||Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria||Ethiopia||4–0||4–0||2012 African Cup of Nations qualification|
|9||29 March 2011||Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria||Kenya||3–0||3–0||Friendly|
|10||1 June 2011||Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria||Argentina||1–0||4–1||Friendly|
|11||1 June 2011||Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria||Argentina||3–0||4–1||Friendly|
|12||5 June 2011||Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia||Ethiopia||1–0||2–2||2012 African Cup of Nations qualification|
|13||8 October 2011||Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria||Guinea||2–1||2–2||2012 African Cup of Nations qualification|
|14||15 November 2011||Ahmadu Bello, Kaduna, Nigeria||Zambia||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|15||3 June 2012||U. J. Esuene, Calabar, Nigeria||Namibia||1–0||1–0||2014 World Cup qualification|
|16||16 June 2012||U. J. Esuene, Calabar, Nigeria||Rwanda||1–0||2–0||2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|17||8 September 2012||Samuel Kanyon Doe, Monrovia, Liberia||Liberia||2–1||2–2||2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|18||13 October 2012||U. J. Esuene, Calabar, Nigeria||Liberia||5–0||6–1||2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|19||15 November 2014||Stade Municipal (Pointe-Noire), Congo||Congo||1–0||2–0||2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
- Uche's older brother, Kalu Uche, is also a footballer. Also a forward, he too spent most of his senior career in Spain (they are not related to two other players, Uche Okechukwu and Ikechukwu Kalu).
- His name, Ikechukwu, means "God's Power" in Igbo.
- Uche made a cameo appearance in the music video for Touchin Body, by J. Martins and Dj Arafat.
- "La liga de los hermanos Uche" [The league of Uche brothers]. Marca (in Spanish). 29 September 2005. Archived from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Miserable return for Schuster". ESPN Soccernet. 29 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- "Principio de acuerdo por Uche" [Early agreement on Uche] (in Spanish). Real Zaragoza. 18 July 2009. Archived from the original on 20 July 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- "Uche se presenta ante dos mil aficionados" [Uche presented before 2,000 fans] (in Spanish). Real Zaragoza. 22 July 2009. Archived from the original on 25 July 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
- "Nigeria admit Uche blow". MTN Football. 7 October 2009. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
- Pepe Borque (30 July 2010). "Uche se perderá media temporada" [Uche will miss half of the season]. Marca (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- "Aguero earns vital win for Atletico". ESPN Soccernet. 19 February 2011. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Athletic Club lose 2–1 at Real Zaragoza, extend losing streak to four". EITB. 2 March 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- "Uche sees off Villarreal". ESPN Soccernet. 17 September 2011. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- "Villarreal 2–0 Mirandés: Ikechukwu Uche da alas al Submarino" [Villarreal 2–0 Mirandés: Ikechukwu Uche gives wings to the Submarine] (in Spanish). Goal.com. 27 October 2012. Archived from the original on 8 March 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "El Villarreal tumba al Sporting con un gol de Uche en el tiempo de descuento (2–1)" [Villarreal downs Sporting with Uche goal in injury time (2–1)]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 10 March 2013. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "4–1. El Villarreal golea al Girona y pone la directa hacia la liga BBVA" [4–1. Villarreal routs Girona and accelerates towards BBVA league]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 19 May 2013. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "El Submarino hunde al Racing" [Submarine sinks Racing]. Marca (in Spanish). 17 November 2012. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Five-star Villarreal sink Rayo". ESPN FC. 6 January 2014. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Ikechukwu Uche leaves Villarreal – Signs with Tigres". Media Hub NG. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Ikechukwu Uche: Nigerian striker joins Malaga on loan". BBC Sport. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
- "Ike Uche, nou fitxatge grana" [Ike Uche, new grana signing] (in Catalan). Gimnàstic Tarragona. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- Oluwashina Okeleji (10 January 2013). "Nations Cup 2013: Nigeria pick six locally-based players". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- Ian Hughes (10 February 2013). "Sunday Mba scored a magnificent winner as Nigeria won the Africa Cup of Nations for the third time.". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Name meaning at Nigerian.name
- "J. Martins featuring Dj Arafat – Touchin Body (Official Video)". YouTube. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "El Recreativo se proclamó campeón en el Rico Pérez" [Recreativo crowned champion at the Rico Pérez]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 19 June 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "Goleadores de 2005–2006" [2005–2006 top scorers]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2016.