Ogenyi Onazi

Ogenyi Eddy Onazi (born 25 December 1992) is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Turkish club Trabzonspor and the Nigeria national football team.

Ogenyi Onazi
Personal information
Full name Ogenyi Eddy Onazi
Date of birth (1992-12-25) 25 December 1992[1]
Place of birth Jos, Nigeria
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)[2]
Playing position Central Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 17
Youth career
El Kanemi Warriors
My People
2011–2012 Lazio
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2016 Lazio 76 (4)
2016– Trabzonspor 69 (6)
National team
2009 Nigeria U17 7 (0)
2011 Nigeria U20 5 (0)
2012– Nigeria 52 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 January 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 October 2019

Club career

Early years in Nigeria

Onazi began playing football in the streets of Jos in 1998. His football skills and abilities drew a lot of attention to him and afforded him the opportunity to play in some academies in the city.

His footballing abilities came to prominence when he moved to the city of Lagos to play for My People.[3]


Onazi joined Lazio in 2011,[4] alongside his teammate, Sani Emmanuel.[5] The pair trialled in England, Greece and Italy[3] following appearances at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, in which Nigeria reached the final on home soil, losing to Switzerland.

Onazi was first promoted to the Lazio first team during the 2011–12 season after appearing at youth level.[6] He made his Serie A debut as a substitute in the penultimate match of the season, replacing Senad Lulić in the 90th minute. Lazio recorded a 2–0 victory over Atalanta at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia in Bergamo.[5][7]

In the following 2012–2013 season, Onazi was granted more playing time Under coach Vladimir Petković featuring in a defensive midfielder role alongside Cristian Ledesma. Notably, he started in a UEFA Europa League match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane,[5] which ended in a 0–0 draw.[8] On 7 March 2013, he scored his first goal for Lazio against Stuttgart in the last sixteen of the Europa League.[9][10] He scored his first Serie A goal in a 3–1 win over Inter Milan on 8 May 2013.[11]

On 13 April 2014, he scored his second Serie A goal for Lazio in a 4–2 defeat to Napoli.[12]

On 22 September 2014, Onazi signed a two-year contract extension with Lazio until 2018. Lazio had previously received transfer enquiries in the summer transfer window by three Premier League clubs Everton, Southampton and Sunderland with interest from German, French, Spanish and Russian clubs also being reported.[4] On 31 May 2015, his 88th-minute goal for the final score of 3–2 in Lazio's win over Napoli helped secure the last Champions League place for the club.[13]


On 2 August 2016 he was transferred to Trabzonspor for €3.5 million.[14][15]

International career

As a 16-year-old, Onazi represented his country at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where Nigeria finished runners-up.[3] However, he was overlooked for selection at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup two years later, despite participating in the training camps in Portugal and Panama.[3]

He made his debut for the senior Nigeria national team in an African Cup of Nations qualification match against Liberia. His first goal came in his second international match, a 3–1 friendly win over Venezuela in Florida.[5]

Onazi was called up to Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.[16] He came on as a substitute in Nigeria's first match of the tournament against Burkina Faso, whom they would eventually face again in the final, before going to on to play every minute of all Nigeria's games in the knockout phase, including the final.

He was selected for Nigeria's squad at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.[17] but missed out of the tournament as he suffered a slight knee knock a few weeks before the competition.

Onazi was named in Nigeria's final squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and started in all four games as Nigeria were eliminated by France in the round of 16.[4] He was also part of the squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.,[18] although he did not figure in any of the team's three matches. Onazi was expectedly left out of the national teams provisional squad to AFCON 2019 after failing to fully recover from an Achilles injury suffered in December 2018 while playing for his club in Turkey

Career statistics


As of match played 23 December 2018[19]
Club Season League National Cup Continental Other Total
Lazio 2011–12 Serie A 100010
2012–13 15120111282
2013–14 291208110402
2014–15 16130191
2015–16 151006110222
Total 76470253201107
Trabzonspor 2016–17 Süper Lig 32260382
2017–18 21221233
2018–19 16200162
Total 696810000777
Career total 145101512532018714


Statistics accurate as of match played 22 June 2018.[20]

Personal life

In November 2019 Onazi said he would help pay for Sani Emmanuel's medical expenses.[21]


  1. Ogenyi OnaziFIFA competition record
  2. "2018 FIFA World Cup: List of players" (PDF). FIFA. 23 June 2018. p. 19.
  3. Audu, Samm (11 October 2012). "Eaglet Onazi soars to fly with the Super Eagles". African Football. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  4. Okeleji, Oluwashina (22 September 2014). "Nigeria's Ogenyi Onazi signs new improved Lazio deal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  5. Enyadike, Emeka (4 June 2014). "World Cup 2014: Nigeria profile – Ogenyi Onazi". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  6. "Lazio midfielder attracts Swansea City interest". Gazetta World. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  7. Audu, Samm (6 May 2012). "Onazi Ogenyi finally debuts for Lazio". African Football. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  8. Osborne, Chris (20 September 2012). "Tottenham 0-0 Lazio". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  9. "Europa League: Lazio stroll to Stuttgart win in Germany". Sky Sports. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  10. "first Lazio goal Onazi delighted". The Nation. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  11. Alaka, Babajide (9 May 2013). "Nigerians Abroad: Ogenyi Onazi scores a rocket against Inter as Moses comes on as a sub in Chelsea draw". Goal. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  12. "Higuain hero for Napoli". SkySports. 13 April 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  13. "Lazio Ogenyi Onazi winner vs Napoli ensures Champions League". ESPNFC. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  14. "RELAZIONE FINANZIARIA SEMESTRALE CONSOLIDATA AL 31 DICEMBRE 2016" (PDF) (in Italian). S.S. Lazio. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  15. "UFFICIALE: Lazio, il centrocampista Onazi passa al Trabzonspor - TUTTOmercatoWEB.com". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  16. Oluwashina Okeleji (10 January 2013). "Nations Cup 2013: Nigeria pick six locally-based players". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  17. "Nigeria to take new-look squad to Confederations Cup". BBC Sport. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  18. http://www.goal.com/en-gb/amp/news/revealed-every-world-cup-2018-squad-23-man-preliminary-lists/oa0atsduflsv1nsf6oqk576rb
  19. "Ogenyi Onazi".
  20. "Ogenyi Onazi". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  21. "Sani Emmanuel: Onazi pays for ex-Nigeria U-17 star's surgery". 25 November 2019 via www.bbc.co.uk.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.