Jude Odion Ighalo popularly known as Ighalo is a prominent Nigerian football player, philanthropist and an entrepreneur. He is a forward striker who plays for a Chinese club “Changchum Yatai” and the Nigerian national team Super Eagles with the Jessy number 9. He is currently one of the most outstanding football player in Nigeria and he his also among the most successful footballers in the African continent.
Odion Ighalo Biography and Early Career
Odion Ighalo was born by his Nigerian parents, Martina and Paul Ighalo on June 16th 1989 in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Nigerian born footballer have always been interested in playing football from his early days, as a child he joined the youth club of Prime FC where he starts his career.
He was discovered in Edo State by a FIFA agent Marcelo Houseman and was taken on trial by Norway’s Lyn.
Odion Ighalo’s Professional career
After starting his senior career with senior team of Nigerian football clubs, Prime FC and Julius Berger FC, in 2007, he was signed to a Norwegian football team, Lyn and he made his debut for the club on 16th September 2007 on a Tippeligaen match against Viking.
During his stay in Lyn, he scored 9goals in 20 appearances.
He signed a five -year contract deal on July 2008 with Udinese an Italian Serie A side.
During his stay with the Italian Club (Udinese), he was loaned to various European clubs such as AC Cesena, Watford FC and Granada CF on two separate seasons,
After his stint at the Italian Club (Udinese), he went to England and played for English Premier League Club, Watford FC whom he joined on 29th July, 2014. He played his first match for the English team in August and scored his debut goal for Watford FC in September 2014.
After scoring five(5) goals for Watford FC, ighalo was named the Premier League Player of the month in December 2015.
On 31 January 2017, the Nigerian striker was signed to “Changchun Yataia” for a transfer fee of $ 27.79 million, the club happens to be a team in the Chinese Super League. Till date, he is still playing for the Chinese super club.
Odion Ighalo International Career
After he played for the Nigerian under 20 side, he got selected to play for the senior Nigerian National team on March 24th, 2015 and he made his international debut against The Cranes of Uganda in a friendly match on 26th March, 2015.
In 2018, he was called up for the Nigeria squad. The squad which features players like Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa and John Obi Mikel.
He was part of the super eagles team that represented Nigeria in the just concluded 2019 African cup of nations (AFCON) tournament that was held in Egypt, the super eagles won the bronze medal as they defeat Tunisia 1-0 in a third place match, the goal was net by Ighalo in the 3rd minute of the game, he won the golden boot with a total of 5 goals in the competition.
Odion Ighalo Personal Life
He is a devoted Christian.
He got married to the love of his life “Sonia” in the year 2009. the couple currently have three children (two boys and a girl).
Igahlo is a very charitable person, he has set up various charity organizations in Nigeria for the poor people, children and to improve the educational system. For his contribution on charity, he was awarded BOA Awards in 2017.
Odion Ighalo Salary and Net Worth
The annual salary of Odion Ighalo is around $10 million with an estimated weekly wages of $264240.60.
When he was with the English premier league side “Watford FC” his annual salary was above £1.5 million with an estimated weekly wages of £30,000.
Odion Ighalo is currently one of the most influential footballers in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $25 million.