Joseph Yobo

Joseph Michael Yobo (born 6 September 1980) is a Nigerian former professional footballer who played as a centre back. He was the captain of the Nigerian national team until his international football retirement in June 2014, and is Nigeria's joint record appearance holder.

Joseph Yobo
Yobo playing for Fenerbahçe in 2012
Personal information
Full name Joseph Michael Yobo[1]
Date of birth (1980-09-06) 6 September 1980[2]
Place of birth Kono, Rivers State, Nigeria
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[3]
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1996–1997 Michellin-Harcourt
1997–1998 Standard Liège
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2001 Standard Liège 46 (2)
2001–2003 Marseille 23 (0)
2001–2002Tenerife (loan) 0 (0)
2002–2003Everton (loan) 24 (0)
2003–2012 Everton 196 (8)
2010–2012Fenerbahçe (loan) 69 (2)
2012–2014 Fenerbahçe 21 (1)
2014Norwich City (loan) 8 (0)
Total 387 (13)
National team
2001–2014 Nigeria 101[4] (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Early years

Yobo's birthplace is Kono, a community in the Khana area of Rivers State, Nigeria.[5]

Yobo left Nigeria to join Standard Liège in 1998. He made his first team debut in 2000, and went on to appear 46 times. In 2001, he was bought by Marseille.[6]

Club career


Soon after making his debut, Yobo was loaned to Tenerife. After around nine months, Yobo returned to Marseille, before joining Everton, again on loan, in July 2002. A £1 million fee was required to register the player, and he became the first signing of David Moyes.[7] An option to make the move permanent was taken up and completed in 2003 after a dispute between Yobo and Marseille was settled,[8] with Everton agreeing a fixed additional fee of £4 million.[3][9]

Yobo became one of the most consistent players in the Everton squad, and was one of only seven players in the entire league to play every minute of every game throughout the 2006–07 season; his teammate Joleon Lescott also being an ever-present throughout the season.

The delay, in 2006, in signing a new contract with Everton lead to rumours of a move to Arsenal,[10] but on 22 July, Yobo committed himself to Goodison Park until 2010. On 15 April 2007, Yobo became the record appearance holder for an overseas player at Everton, a record he held until early 2012.[11] For the UEFA Cup match against Larissa of Greece on 25 October 2007, Yobo was named as captain in the absence of Phil Neville and thus became the first African to captain the club. On 6 May 2009, Yobo scored his first goal of the season against West Ham United to seal a 3–1 win.

In the 2009–10 season, Yobo had to adjust to his new defensive partner, Sylvain Distin, after Joleon Lescott left and Phil Jagielka became injured. On 29 November 2009, he scored an own goal in Everton's 2–0 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. Distin, Jagielka and John Heitinga were increasingly selected over Yobo, confining him to the bench.


On 31 August 2010, Yobo signed a one-year loan contract with Fenerbahçe. Yobo played in 30 official matches and scored a goal, helping his team win the league title. On 6 September 2011, Fenerbahçe and Everton agreed on another loan deal for €700,000 and Yobo signed a one-year contract worth €2.35 million.[12] On 4 August 2012, he re-signed for Fenerbahçe once again, but this time on a permanent basis on a 3-year contract, after having played for Everton for 10 years. On 17 August Fenerbahçe played against Torku Konyaspor and Yobo scored a goal in this match.[13] Before the 2014-2015 season his contract with Fenerbahçe was terminated with mutual agreement.[14] On 31 August 2014 was awarded with the plaque of appreciation and have been released from Fenerbahçe.[15]

Norwich City

On 30 January 2014, Yobo returned to England on loan at Norwich City for the remainder of the season with a view to a permanent move in the summer.[16]

He marked his debut for the club with a clean sheet against top-scoring club Manchester City on 8 February.[17]

International career

Yobo is a former Nigeria international, who has been capped 101 times and represented the Super Eagles at three FIFA World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.[18]

After participating in Nigeria's run to the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship quarter-finals, Yobo made his senior international debut against Zambia in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier on 24 March 2001.[18] He played in all six of the team's matches in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations[19] and was included in the squad for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he was again ever-present,[19] assisting Julius Aghahowa's goal in a 2–1 loss to Sweden.[20]

Yobo made his second World Cup appearance at the 2010 tournament in South Africa, after which he assumed the captaincy on the international retirement of Nwankwo Kanu.[18] The veteran defender was no longer a first choice player at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but lifted the trophy after appearing as an 89th-minute substitute in Nigeria's 1–0 final defeat of Burkina Faso.[21]

In June 2014, Yobo was included in Stephen Keshi's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[22] He was named in the starting line-up for both the second and third group matches, helping the Super Eagles to clean sheet in a 1–0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina.[23] On 30 June, he made his 100th international appearance, captaining Nigeria against France in the round of 16. After scoring an own goal in the 2–0 defeat, Yobo announced his international retirement, saying: "This is it. I can look back on my career with great pride. I wanted to leave on a high for my country. Defeat by France was not the right way to go but I'm happy with all I've done for the national team. It's time to give a chance to other people to come through."[24]

Personal life

In 2010, following a brief courtship, Yobo married former MBGN Adaeze Igwe in a midnight ceremony held in Jos. The couple wedded in a very low key ceremony barely three months after they met in December 2009.[25] However, it is known that they are said to be trying to hide their marital troubles from the press and general public.[26] The couple welcomed a baby boy named Joey Yobo April 2010.

He is the younger brother of former Nigeria international Albert Yobo. In July 2008, his younger brother Norum[27] was kidnapped in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria and held for ransom. He was eventually released after 12 days on 17 July 2008.[28]

It was widely reported in the Nigerian media that Yobo went to T.B. Joshua for prayers after suffering a hamstring injury in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.[29] Joseph Yobo and his wife, Adaeze Igwe were conferred with chieftaincy titles of Mene Aborlo 1 and Waamene Aborlo 1 respectively of Ogoniland by King GNK Gininwa of Ogoni Kingdom on Saturday, 28 May 2016. This was a day after his testimonial match marking his exit from active football was organised by the Rivers State Government on Friday, 27 May 2016

Charity work

In 2007, Yobo set up the Joseph Yobo Charity Foundation,[30] to help under-privileged children in Nigeria. As of 18 July 2007, he has handed out over 300 scholarship awards ranging from primary to university level. Yobo has started a football academy in the Ogoni region of Nigeria. He also runs football camps in Lagos.

Career statistics

As of 16 June 2014.[31][32]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Belgium League Belgian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2000–01Standard LiègeJupiler League302302
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
2001–02Olympique MarseilleLigue 1230230
England League FA Cup Carling Cup Europe Total
2002–03EvertonPremier League24020260
2013–14Norwich CityPremier League80000080
Turkey League Türkiye Kupası League Cup Europe Total
2010–11FenerbahçeSuper Lig30130331
Total Belgium 302302
France 230230
England 22885012019226710
Turkey 90390001501143
Career total 3711314012034243415


Nigeria national team

International goals

1.1 June 2003Lagos National Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria Cameroon1–03–0Friendly
2.31 January 2004Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir, Tunisia South Africa1–04–02004 African Cup of Nations
3.3 July 2004Abuja Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria Algeria1–01–02006 FIFA World Cup qualification
4.7 June 2008National Stadium, Freetown, Sierra Leone Sierra Leone0–10–12010 FIFA World Cup qualification
5.15 June 2008Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea0–10–12010 FIFA World Cup qualification
6.5 June 2011Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Ethiopia2–22–22012 African Cup of Nations qualification
7.4 September 2011Mahamasina Stadium, Antananarivo, Madagascar Madagascar0–10–22012 African Cup of Nations qualification
Correct as of 4 September 2011[35]






  1. "Joseph Michael Yobo" (in Turkish). Turkish Football Federation. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  2. Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 448. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
  3. Jackson, Jamie (7 September 2003). "Yobo in power play". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  5. "Hon. Worgu Boms". BBC. 18 July 2007. Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  6. "European Preview: Belgium Transfers". BBC Sport. 15 August 2001. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  7. "Everton complete Yobo chase". BBC Sport. 9 July 2002. Archived from the original on 12 December 2003. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  8. "Joseph Yobo – Everton F.C. Player Profile".
  9. Fifield, Dominic (28 November 2002). "Everton close in on Yobo's signature". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  10. "Everton face Yobo contract delay". BBC Sport. 3 April 2006. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  11. Joseph Yobo on NigeriaNews Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. "Everton kulübü oyuncusu Joseph YOBO nun 2011–2012 sezonunda kiralık olarak transferi konusunda oyuncu ve kulübü ile anlaşmaya varılmıştır. Anlaşma karşılığında Everton Kulübüne 700.000.avro kiralama bedeli, Joseph YOBO ya ise 2011–2012 sezonu için 2.350.000.avro garanti ücret ödenecektir". Fenerbahçe SK (in Turkish). Turkish Public Disclosure System (KAP). 6 September 2011.
  13. Husmukh Kerai (4 August 2012). "Joseph Yobo completes move from Everton to Fenerbahçe". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  14. "Yobo da gitti". NTV Spor. 29 August 2014. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  15. Phillip Eta (31 August 2014). "Fenerbahce release Joseph Yobo". Daily Post. Archived from the original on 6 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  16. Oluwashina Okeleji (30 January 2014). "Transfer window 2014: Norwich City sign Joseph Yobo on loan". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  17. "Barclays Premier League: Norwich City 0-0 Manchester City". BBC Sport. 8 February 2014. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  18. "Joseph Yobo". FIFA. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  19. "Joseph Phillip Yobo - International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  20. "Swedes knock out Nigeria". BBC Sport. 7 June 2002. Archived from the original on 17 January 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  21. "Africa Cup of Nations final as it happened". BBC Sport. 10 February 2013. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  22. Oluwashina Okeleji (3 June 2014). "World Cup 2014: Nosa Igiebor cut from Nigeria squad". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  23. "Nigeria 1-0 Bosnia-Herce". BBC Sport. 22 June 2014. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  24. "Keshi steps down, Yobo retires". FIFA. 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  25. Joseph Yobo’s Complicated Family Life of (21 of July, 2013 Archived 22 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  26. Yobo weds Igwe Archived 13 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  27. "Everton offer Yobo assistance".
  28. "Yobo's Brother Released". Kick Off. 19 March 2008. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  29. Auf der Heyde, Peter (27 January 2010). "Sports Medicine – African Style". Monsters and Critics. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012.
  30. Joseph Yobo Charity Foundation Archived 4 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  31. "Joseph Yobo : Biography".
  32. Joseph Yobo at Soccerbase
  33. "Joseph Yobo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  34. Kunle Solaja (6 April 2011). "Yobo's caps: putting the records straight". SuperSport. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012.
  35. "Joseph Phillip Yobo - Century of International Appearances". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  36. "Egypt dominates glo-caf awards".
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