“Life in Ajegunle was tough, we had no idea what the future would hold but we would wake up every morning content with the opportunity of another day. Growing up, we kicked cans, oranges and plastic bags on the street. If we were lucky, someone will bring a plastic ball for three-a-side. You didn’t need extra motivation to succeed when you are born into the hardship and struggles of the ghetto. Success, money, and fame makes it easy to forget where you come from but God took me out of Ajegunle for a reason.” This summarizes the determination and life of Odion Ighalo.
Odion Ighalo was born to Nigerian parents, mother Martina Ighalo, and father, Paul Ighalo on 16 June 1989 in Lagos, Nigeria. Although born in Lagos, he was raised in Edo State. He, however, spent the latter part of his early life in Ajegunle, Lagos, and shares with his birthplace with fellow Nigerian star striker, Ahmed Musa.
Odion Ighalo is a devout Christian and is a married man. Odion Ighalo is married to a woman named Sonia since 2009. Together the couple has three children, two sons, and a daughter. Ighalo is enjoying his life with his family and is a devoted husband and remarkable father to his children. He also often dedicates part of his wages for Nigerian charitable organizations to help impoverished children, schools, and windows below the poverty line.
His career began in a football club named Prime. In 2006, the footballer left this team and moved to another one named Julius Berger. Odion scored 5 goals in ten games for the club as a result the player spent the following season with a Norwegian side, Lyn. He made his first professional appearance in the middle of September of 2007 taking the pitch against a team named Viking in the regular championship of Norway. Despite a goal scored by the Nigerian, his side lost 2-3. In total Odion spent 10 months in the squad for which he played 20 games with 9 goals.
At the end of June 2008, an Italian side Udinese purchased the player. Odion marked his first appearance for the side on 25 January 2009 and scored his first goal on May 31 against Cagliari. At the end of August 2009, he was loaned to Granada in Spain where he played 25 games and scored 16 times thus becoming the best goal scorer in Segunda División B. After that he was loaned to Cesena in Italy but his time there wasn’t really successful and in 2011 he was loaned to Granada again. After a three-year spell with the Spanish side, Ighalo was loaned to Watford in summer 2014.
On 31 January 2017, Ighalo joined Chinese Super League club Changchun Yatai for a reported £20 million. He ranked second in the scoring charts in his second season at 21, but his team suffered relegation. Ighalo transferred to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on 14 February 2019. In March, he said he turned down a move to Barcelona the previous month.
Odion Ighalo is currently one of the richest and most influential football players in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $20 million.
light sleeper, heavy dreamer.