Maduka Emilio Okoye (born 28 August 1999)[1] is a professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Serie A club Udinese. Born in Germany, he plays for the Nigeria national team.

Maduka Okoye
Personal information
Full name Maduka Emilio Okoye
Date of birth (1999-08-28) 28 August 1999 (age 24)
Place of birth Düsseldorf, Germany
Height 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Team information
Current team
Udinese
Number 40
Youth career
DJK SC Flingern 08
Fortuna Düsseldorf
0000–2009 Borussia Mönchengladbach
2009–2017 Bayer Leverkusen
2017–2018 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017–2020 Fortuna Düsseldorf II 34 (0)
2020 Jong Sparta Rotterdam 2 (0)
2020–2022 Sparta Rotterdam 45 (0)
2022–2023 Watford 0 (0)
2022Sparta Rotterdam (loan) 13 (0)
2023– Udinese 21 (0)
International career
2019– Nigeria 16 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 9 June 2024
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 9 February 2022

Early life

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Okoye was born in Düsseldorf to a Igbo Nigerian father and a German mother.

Club career

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Fortuna Düsseldorf II

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In the summer of 2017, he left the youth team of Bayer Leverkusen, where he had played since 2009 to join the youth team of Fortuna Düsseldorf.

On 14 October 2017, he made his professional debut in the Regionalliga West for Fortuna Düsseldorf II in a game against Wuppertaler SV, replacing the injured Max Schijns on the 43rd minute of the game.[2] He finished the 2017/2018 season with 5 appearances, conceding just 1 goal and keeping 4 clean sheets, while his club finished the season in the 15th position with 36 points after 34 games, narrowly escaping relegation to Oberliga.

In the 2018/2019 season, he became the clubs regular goalkeeper. On 13 April 2019, he played his last match of the season, against SV Rödinghausen, after being replaced in goal for the next matches by goalkeeper Jannick Theissen. He finished the season with 15 appearances, conceding 25 goals and keeping 3 clean sheets. This time, his club did better than the previous season, finishing the season in the 12th position with 42 points after 34 games.

On 24 August 2019, he played his first match of the 2019/2020 season in a 2–1 home win against Schalke 04 II.[3]

Sparta Rotterdam

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In July 2020, Okoye signed for Eredivise side Sparta Rotterdam on a free transfer.[4] He was named Sparta's Player of the Season, keeping 10 clean sheets in 28 league games during the 2020/21 season.[5] On 4 August 2021, Okoye signed a contract extension until 2025.

Watford

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On 8 November 2021, it was announced that Okoye had agreed to join Premier League outfit Watford on a five-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee.[6] Okoye joined Watford on 1 January 2022. The deal saw Okoye loaned back to Sparta Rotterdam until the end of the 2021–22 campaign. Okoye made his Watford debut on 23 August 2022 in a 2-0 home defeat to MK Dons in the second round of the EFL Cup.

Udinese

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On 24 August 2023, Okoye signed for Serie A club Udinese for an undisclosed fee.[7]

International career

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On 30 November 2017, the coach of the Nigerian National Team, Gernot Rohr talked about his plans to invite Maduka to the Nigerian National Team before the 2018 World Cup, but the plan wasn't a success.[8]

On 20 February 2019, during an interview conducted by German based Nigerian sports journalist, Oma Akatugba, Maduka hinted that he's open to invitation by the Nigerian National Team, and ever willing to wear the green and white.[9]

On 22 February 2019, he was invited to the Nigerian U23 Team for the 2019 African U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya U-23 by Imama Amapakabo, the coach of the Nigeria U23 Team, but failed to make a debut, due to club engagement.[10]

On 9 May 2019, Maduka was again invited to the Nigerian U23 Team for the 2019 African U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan U-23.[11] The football match was originally scheduled to take place between 3 and 11 June 2019, but was moved to September 2–10 2019 by CAF, the postponement was motivated by the closeness of the qualifying games to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, in Egypt.[12]

On 26 July 2019, the coach of the Nigerian National Team, Gernot Rohr, hinted that he is shifting his focus to Maduka as he looks to solve the goalkeeping crisis that has rocked his team since Carl Ikeme quit due to illness.[13]

On 14 August 2019, Rohr invited Maduka for a friendly against Ukraine, that will be played on 10 September 2019 in Dnipro-Arena.[14]

On 13 October 2019, he made his international debut as a substitute in a friendly match against Brazil ending 1–1.[15]

On 25 December 2021, He was shortlisted in 2021 AFCON Nations Cup by Caretaker Coach Eguavoen as part of the 28-Man Nigeria Squad.[16]

Career statistics

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Club

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As of match played 25 April 2024[17]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup League cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Fortuna Düsseldorf II 2017–18 Under 19 Bundesliga 13 0 13 0
2017–18 Regionalliga West 5 0 5 0
2018–19 15 0 15 0
2019–20 14 0 14 0
Total 34 0 34 0
Jong Sparta 2020–21 Tweede Divisie 2 0 2 0
Sparta Rotterdam 2020–21 Eredivisie 28 0 1 0 1 0 30 0
2021–22 30 0 1 0 31 0
Total 58 0 2 0 1 0 61 0
Watford 2022–23 Championship 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0
Udinese 2023–24 Serie A 16 0 1 0 17 0
Career total 123 0 4 0 1 0 1 0 129 0

International

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As of 23 January 2022
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Nigeria
2019 1 0
2020 4 0
2021 8 0
2022 3 0
Total 16 0

Honours

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Individual

References

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  1. ^ Ambrose (19 May 2022). "Maduka Okoye Biography, Age, State, Family, Girlfriend And Net Worth". BaseNaija. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  2. ^ "WSV now in third place". FuPa. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Fortuna Düsseldorf II - FC Schalke 04 II 2:1 (Regionalliga West 2019/2020, 5. Round)". World Football. 24 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  4. ^ "SPARTA SIGNS GOALKEEPER OKOYE". sparta-rotterdam.nl/. 13 July 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  5. ^ "MADUKA OKOYE NAMED PLAYER OF THE SEASON 20/21". sparta-rotterdam.nl/. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Official: Watford Reach Okoye Agreement". watfordfc.com/. 8 November 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  7. ^ "Official: Okoye Departs". www.watfordfc.com. Retrieved 24 August 2023.
  8. ^ "Super Eagles boss Rohr to invite German-born goalkeeper Maduka Okoye". Brila FM News. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  9. ^ "German-born goalkeeper Maduka Okoye says he wants to play for Nigeria". The Poise News. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Nigeria U-23: Amapakabo opens contact with Fortuna Dusseldorf goalkeeper". The Vanguard News. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  11. ^ "AFCON U-23: Finally, Maduka Okoye gets Dream Team call-up". AOI Football News. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  12. ^ "CAF shifts Sudan-Nigeria U23 fixtures". The Vanguard News. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Rohr banks on Okoye to solve Eagles' keeper crisis". The Punch News. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Rohr invites two new players for Ukraine friendly". The Guardian Nigeria News. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Uzoho stretchered off in agony after suffering injury against Brazil". Goal.com. 13 October 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  16. ^ Football, CAF-Confedération Africaine du. "Eguavoen announces Nigeria final TotalEnergies AFCON squad". CAFOnline.com. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  17. ^ Maduka Okoye at Soccerway. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  18. ^ "FC Twente is the main provider for the Eredivisie team of the month". eredivisie.eu. 1 April 2022.
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