Joseph Yobo: A Nigerian Football Hero
Joseph Yobo was born in Kono Town of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State. He was born on 6th September, 1980. His full name is Joseph Philip Yobo and he is a Nigerian center back footballer, captain until his retirement on June 2014.
His career as a footballer started in Nigeria where he played for Michelline-Harcourt, while he played; he was spotted by other international teams. Yobo played a key role in the Super Eagle defence. He made his first appearance in 2001 and later in 2002 he played for the Nigerian team at the world cup in Japan and South Korea. Even with poor turnout of events for the team, his performances were considered to be spectacular and he moved on to play in the 2010 world cup which was hosted in South Africa 2010. He captained the Nigerian team in the first two matches as he was later substituted by Las Lagerberg the then Super Eagles coach. In the hustle, he won the 2013 African Cup Of nations from the Nigerian bench. This was the only trophy he lifted as Nigerian Player. He capped a total of 95 appearances for the Nigerian squad and a total of 7 international goals.
He first played internationally for the Standard Liege, a Belgian team in 1997. At 17 he assumed a height of 1.88m full of strength and good pace. He debuted in 2000 thereafter making 46 appearances and scoring 2 goals for the Belgian team. He opted out in 2001 then Moved onto Olympique Marseille where he defended in 26 appearances with no goals till 2003. He then moved to Everton making 24 appearances with no goals, he thrived as a defender and played for Fenerbace on loan from 2010 to 2012 on loan while he was still signed for Everton. He finally joined Fernerbace in 2012 and played for 2 years scoring a goal from 21 appearances. In 2014, Yobo made 8 appearances for Norwich with no goals.
He had some triumphant moments and some downs as well. He was one of the most consistent players in the whole Premiershipwhich made him one of the seven players who appeared every minute of the 2006/07 season. In the UEFA Cup competition match with Larissa he was named captain at the absence of Phil Neville and he was the first ever African captain of Everton in history. Unfortunately some of his downs were in 2009, having problems adjusting to his defender team-mate Sylvain Distin, he was left out in the cold. He also scored an own goal in the defeat with Liverpool and it was the moment he lost his prestige among The Toffes staff and supporters.
Joseph Yobo had his social life moving alongside with football too. In July 2008, his brother Norum was kidnapped in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria and held for ransom. He was released after 12 days on 17 July 2008.
In 2010 He got married to Adaeze Igwe during in Jos. The two got married just after three months after of meeting in December 2009. They tried as much as possible to keep their marital problems from the press and the entire public. Yobo was blessed with a son Joey 2010.
The Nigerian media also reported that Yobo visited the Synagogue Church of T.B. Joshua for prayers after suffering a hamstring injury in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.
The two couple where icons. Super eagle’s captain and wife who won the award making her the most beautiful girl in Nigeria as at 2008 are soon to attract trouble. According to reports from people close to Yobo, they were crisis arising from the highly connected Adaeze’s mother, Mrs. Abigail Igwe now Fashanu after she married the former Footballer turned business man in 2011. The issue was that she was trying to control her daughter’s marriage to Yobo even to the extent of asking her daughter not to give further birth after that of Joeywho was at the time thre years old.
In May 2016 Joseph Yobo who at now is referred to as former Nigerian defense midfielder was conferred with a chieftaincy title in Ogoniland. The honour was bestowed on him the next day he was given a grand exit from professional football by a stellar collection of football stars. His titled is; Mene Aborlo 1 of Ogoniland, his wife Adaeze Waamene Aborlo 1 of Ogoni land by King GNK Gininwa.
Also in May 2016 Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, appointed Yobo as Senior Special Assistant on Sports Development to the governor.
Successful enough, The football star finally wrapped his career as a footballer in style as he allowed the world battle Nigeria in a testimonial football match at the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium in Port Harcourt on May 27, 2016. The Nigerian team won the match 5-4 with the features: Joseph Yobo, Vincent Enyeama, Samuel Eto’o, Chidi Odia, Mutiu Adepoku, Austin Okocha, Ahmed Musa, Alfred Chukwundukwe, Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Danny Shittu, Emmanuel Emenike, Kanu Nwankwo, Sulley Muntari, AY the comedian, Dele Ayenugba, Stephen Appiah, Ben Iroha, Lomana Lualua, Joel Obi, Shehu Dikko, Ogbonnaya Kanu amongst others. It was an awesome moment as fans would say.