Efe Ambrose

Efe Eric Ambrose (born 18 October 1988) is a Nigerian footballer who last played as a centre back or a right back for EFL Championship side Derby County. Ambrose has previously played for Kaduna United, Bayelsa United, Israeli club Ashdod and Scottish clubs Celtic and Hibernian.

Efe Ambrose
Personal information
Full name Efe Eric Ambrose[1]
Date of birth (1988-10-18) 18 October 1988
Place of birth Kaduna, Nigeria
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Centre back / Right back
Youth career
2002–2006 Kaduna United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2010 Kaduna United 89 (7)
2008–2009Bayelsa United (loan) 24 (4)
2010–2012 Ashdod 67 (3)
2012–2017 Celtic 113 (5)
2017Hibernian (loan) 10 (1)
2017–2019 Hibernian 59 (2)
2019 Derby County 0 (0)
National team
2007 Nigeria U20 4 (0)
2008 Nigeria U23 2 (0)
2008– Nigeria 51 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:47, 4 January 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10:16, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

He also plays in the Nigeria national football team. Ambrose has represented Nigeria at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, the Summer Olympics, the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup.

Club career

Early career

Ambrose started his professional career at Kaduna United in 2006 and two years later, he was loaned to Bayelsa United for the 2008–09 season but remained with Kaduna United after helping them win promotion.[2]

FC Ashdod

Ambrose joined Israeli Premier League club FC Ashdod in June 2010 and left in 2012.[3]

Celtic

Ambrose joined Scottish Premier League club Celtic in the summer 2012 transfer deadline day, signing a three-year contract.[4] After joining the club, Ambrose praised his new teammates at Celtic for helping him settle down in Glasgow quickly.[5] Ambrose also revealed he studied British football in order to join Celtic by watching both Scottish Premier League and English Premier League games on TV upon hearing about Celtic's interest in him.[6]

Ambrose made his debut on 22 September 2012 as a substitute for Celtic captain Scott Brown against Dundee in the Scottish Premier League, a 2–0 victory.[7][8] He made his full début against Raith Rovers in the Scottish League Cup, in a 4–1 victory. He scored his first goal for Celtic in a 5–0 win over St Mirren on 20 October 2012, celebrating the goal with a quadruple somersault.[9] Ambrose went on to make his Champions League debut for Celtic, where he played 90 minutes in a 3–2 win over Spartak Moscow.[10] On 4 November 2012, Ambrose headed in an own goal, in a 2–2 draw against Dundee United. After the match, Ambrose said he let himself down and felt that he could have cleared the ball away.[11] On 7 November 2012, ahead of a Champions League game against Barcelona, Ambrose made a vow to give his best ever performance for the club.[12] After a stunning performance by the Celtic players, they won 2–1 and Ambrose said that winning against Barcelona was the 'perfect way to celebrate Celtic's 125th anniversary.[13]

At the end of the Champions League group stage campaign, Celtic qualified for the knock-out stages and faced Italian side Juventus. In the first leg, Ambrose was named in the squad ahead of the match, only 3 days after Nigeria had won the Africa Cup of Nations, Ambrose had played the full 90 minutes in the final.[14] However, Ambrose made several mistakes during the match, allowing Alessandro Matri (first goal) and Mirko Vučinić (third goal) to score with ease. He also missed the club's best chance to score late in the game.[15] His performance was criticised by teammate Kris Commons.[15] Though criticised, Ambrose was defended by Kelvin Wilson, who believed that Ambrose would bounce back from his disappointing performance.[16] Ambrose made amends in the next league game when he scored Celtic's opener in a 6–2 win over Dundee United. Ambrose's (along with Commons) performance was praised by Neil Lennon.[17] Three days later, he scored again, in a 1–1 draw against St Johnstone. Ahead of the second leg against Juventus, Ambrose said that Commons' criticism inspired him to become a better player.[18] After the match, which Juventus won 2–0 and progressed to the quarter finals, Neil Lennon stated that Ambrose was late for training and missed the team bus from the hotel and was left to catch up by taxi.[19] Lennon also stated that Ambrose needed to "sort himself out."[20]

Since 2013, Ambrose has come under strong criticism from fans and pundits alike for frequent poor performances and errors which have led to opposition goals.[21][22] On 31 August 2016, after becoming frozen out of the first-team at Celtic under new manager Brendan Rodgers, Celtic accepted a bid of £300,000 for Ambrose from Standard Liege, but the deal fell through after he opted to stay at Celtic Park.[23] In February 2017, Ambrose's proposed loan move to Blackburn Rovers fell through, after the club was unable to obtain a work permit.[24]

Hibernian

On 28 February 2017, Ambrose joined Hibernian on loan for the rest of the season.[25] Ambrose scored his first goal for Hibs on 25 March, the opening goal of a 21 win in the Scottish Championship against Falkirk.[26] He won the Scottish Championship player of the month award for March 2017.[27]

After his contract with Celtic expired at the end of the season, Ambrose signed a two-year contract with Hibernian.[28] Ambrose exercised a clause in his contract and left Hibernian in January 2019, despite the club offering him a new deal.[29]

Derby County

In February 2019, Ambrose went on trial with EFL Championship club Derby County.[30] Later that month he signed a short-term contract with the club.[31]

He was released by Derby County at the end of the 2018–19 season.[32]

International career

Ambrose was a member of the Nigeria national under-20 football team at 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.[33][34] He later represented Nigeria U-23 and played two games at the 2008 Summer Olympics.[35]

He was called up to Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.[36] In the Africa Cup of Nations, Ambrose played five out of six games for Nigeria, playing in the right-back position, including the final which he started. After the tournament, Ambrose was named in the 2013 African Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament.[37] Ambrose says winning the Africa Cup of Nations was his biggest achievement and one of the greatest moments of his life.[38]

He was selected for Nigeria's squad at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup[39] and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Ambrose has not been selected since 2016, due to him losing his place at Celtic. He played regularly for Hibernian during the 201718 season, but was not recalled for the 2018 FIFA World Cup squad.[40] This decision was criticised by former Nigeria manager Samson Siasia, who felt that Ambrose's experience would have been useful.[40]

Style of play

Ambrose often played as a defensive midfielder for the Nigeria national football team and can also play as a centre back or right back, doing so in the Israeli Premier League at FC Ashdod.[41] A ball playing centre-half, Efe is known for his composure in possession.[42] He normally performs a somersault after scoring a goal.[9][26][43]

Career statistics

Club

As of 11:47, 4 January 2019 (UTC)[44]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ashdod 2010–11 Israeli Premier League 3116020391
2011–12 Israeli Premier League 3521042404
2012–13 Israeli Premier League 103040
Total 67310062835
Celtic 2012–13 Scottish Premier League 273502070413
2013–14 Scottish Premiership 3822010101513
2014–15 Scottish Premiership 2703020110430
2015–16 Scottish Premiership 210202060310
2016–17 Scottish Premiership 2020
Total 1135120703611686
Hibernian 2016–17 Scottish Championship 10120121
2017–18 Scottish Premiership 3821061453
2018–19[note 1] Scottish Premiership 2102062292
Total 693308162866
Career Total 2491125021342333717

International appearances

As of match played 29 March 2016[45]
National teamYearAppsGoals
Nigeria 200810
2009
2010
2011100
201251
2013170
2014131
201532
201620
Total514

International goals

Scores and results list Nigeria's goal tally first.[45]
#DateVenueOpponentScoreResultCompetition
1.13 October 2012U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, Nigeria Liberia1–06–12013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
2.6 September 2014U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, Nigeria Congo1–02–32015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
3.11 October 2015Edmond Machtens Stadium, Brussels, Belgium Cameroon1–03–0Friendly
4.17 November 2015Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, Nigeria Swaziland2–02–02018 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours

Club

Bayelsa
Kaduna United
Celtic
Hibernian

International

Nigeria

Individual

Notes

  1. Soccerbase did not record appearances made by Ambrose against NSI Runavik on 19 July Archived 19 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Asteras Tripolis on 26 July Archived 28 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine and 2 August Archived 3 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine, and Molde on 9 August Archived 9 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine and 16 August 2018 Archived 16 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine.

References

  1. "List of players given a free transfer: Derby County" (PDF). English Football League. p. 97. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  2. "Nigeria: Bayelsa Grab Ambrose, Keep Okonkwo". 12 September 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2009 via AllAfrica.
  3. "Google Translate". Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  4. "Celtic: Efe Ambrose completes move from Ashdod". BBC Sport. 31 August 2012. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  5. "Efe Ambrose thanks his team mates for helping him settle in at Celtic Park". STV Sport. 26 September 2012. Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  6. "Efe Ambrose reveals he studied British football ahead of move to Celtic". Daily Record. 27 September 2012. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  7. "Efe Ambrose". Fitba Stats. Archived from the original on 15 September 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  8. Egbe, Uche George (23 September 2012). "Ambrose debuts in Scotland". Kick Off. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  9. "St Mirren 0–5 Celtic". BBC Sport. 20 October 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  10. "Efe Ambrose's Celtic shock Spartak". MTN Football. 2 October 2012. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  11. "Celtic's Efe Ambrose pledges to make amends for last minute Tannadice shocker". Daily Record. 6 November 2012. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  12. "I will play the 'game of my life' against Barcelona, says Celtic defender Ambrose". Goal.com. 7 November 2012. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  13. "Efe Ambrose: Celtic win over Barca was perfect 125th birthday pressie". Daily Record. 9 November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  14. "Celtic stopper Efe Ambrose heads back to Glasgow after African Nations Cup victory". Daily Record. 11 February 2013. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  15. "'He should have put in a better performance' – Commons hits out at Ambrose after Juventus defeat". Goal.com. 13 February 2013. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  16. "Ambrose will bounce back after criticism, says Celtic defender Wilson". Goal.com. 14 February 2013. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
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  23. Sutherland, Jonathan (31 August 2016). "Celtic: Jozo Simunovic and Efe Ambrose deals fall through". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 4 September 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  24. "Efe Ambrose: Blackburn cancel Celtic defender's loan move". BBC Sport. 27 February 2017. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  25. Coyle, Andy (28 February 2017). "Neil Lennon defends Efe Ambrose as Hibs complete signing". STV Sport. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  26. McLauchlin, Brian (25 March 2017). "Hibernian 21 Falkirk". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 25 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  27. "Ambrose named Player of the Month". Scottish Professional Football League. 13 April 2017. Archived from the original on 16 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  28. "Efe Ambrose signs two-year deal with Hibernian". Hibernian FC. 8 June 2017. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
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  30. "Efe Ambrose: Derby County take ex-Celtic and Hibernian defender on trial". BBC Sport. 8 February 2019. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
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  35. "Sports 7". Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
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  40. Brown, Anthony (19 May 2018). "Cammy Bell departs Hibs as Efe Ambrose call is slammed". Edinburgh Evening News. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  41. SkySports.com Player Profile Archived 16 February 2013 at WebCite
  42. Fisher, Stewart (25 October 2012). "Ambrose and Wilson making strong case for the Celtic Defence". Herald Scotland. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  43. "Neil Lennon holds breath over Efe Ambrose's somersault celebration". STV Sport. 20 October 2012. Archived from the original on 26 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  44. Efe Ambrose at Soccerbase
  45. "Ambrose, Efe". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  46. Lamont, Alasdair (26 May 2013). "Hibernian 0–3 Celtic". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  47. Wilson, Richard (15 March 2015). "Dundee United 0–2 Celtic". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
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  49. Johnstone, Darren (27 April 2017). "Hibs defender Efe Ambrose qualifies to collect Championship winner's medal after missing out on medal at Celtic". Deadline News. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
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