[Sports] Brief History Of Odion Ighalo And His Foot ball Career

A career that has spanned over five years, filled with dreams and hopes. That’s has been filled with celebration and vilification. And one that finally saw him fulfill a boyhood dream, Odion Ighalo’s career has been nothing but an inspiration from many, with his rise from grass to grace, and more importantly favour over labour.
Odion Ighalo’s career has seen him move across three continents and play for almost ten clubs in the last few years.
Like most Nigerian footballers, Ighalo started his career in Nigeria, before moving to Norway. He played for Prime FC, making 5 appearances, before moving to Julius Berger FC where he made ten (10) appearances and scored 5 goals.
The European adventure
Ighalo’s form saw him move to Lyn in Norway. He was prolific during his time there, scoring 9 goals in 20 appearances, which further earned him a move to Udinese in Italy.
While at Udinese, Ighalo found opportunities a bit difficult to come by, scoring just once in six appearances. Owing to the fact that Udinese and Granada had the same owners, Ighalo was allowed to leave on loan to Granada during the 2009/10 season, where he hit the ground running, scoring 16 goals in 26 appearances for the Spanish club. He had a brief stint in Italy again, going to Cesena on loan. He later moved back to Granada on a loan deal, making 95 appearances and scoring 16 goals. His move to Granada saw the club attain promotion.
After his spell in Spain, he moved to England, playing for Watford FC in the championship and scored his first goal in the Championship against Brentford on 30 September by tucking the ball home after his initial penalty was saved by David Button, in a 2–1 home win.
On 24 October 2014, Watford terminated Ighalo’s loan and re-signed him on a permanent deal the same day after Udinese released him from his contract. During his spell in the championship, he scored four goals in a game against Blackpool, who led by 2-0 during halftime.
He had a decent spell in the Premier League, which saw him win the Premier League player in the month after scoring 5 goals in December. Many however will not forget his performance against Liverpool, which saw him score a brace. He later moved on to Shanghai Shenhua, where he has scored ten goals in 17 appearances.
The Asian move.
After a long stint in Europe, Ighalo moved to China – Changchun Yatai, to be precise. He ranked second in the scoring charts in his second season at 21, but his team suffered relegation. However, he had a very good time at the club, in terms of finding the back of the net, scoring 36 goals in 55 appearances at the club.
Ighalo also had a very good time while playing for the Super Eagles. While he might have had a poor outing at the 2018 world cup, he redeemed himself by scoring seven goals during the Nations Cup qualifiers (emerging as the top scorer), and also won the golden boot at the 2019 Nations Cup, where Nigeria won the bronze medal.
All these have culminated in the recent move Odion Has made to Manchester United. His move was one that saw Nigerians (both Manchester United and non-United fans) excited for him. Being the first Nigerian to play for Manchester United, it is hoped that he would inspire many more to aspire to get to the peak of their careers and achieve their dreams.
In the words of Odion Ighalo, “If you don’t go through difficulties in life then you cannot appreciate life.” From Osun United in Nigeria to his boyhood club Manchester United, leave a comment about his journey to the top.

 ROPC 2020

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