Stefano Okaka

Stefano Chuka Okaka (Italian pronunciation: [ˈsteːfano oˈkaːka]; born 9 August 1989) is an Italian footballer who plays as a forward for Süper Lig club Istanbul Basaksehir.

Stefano Okaka
Okaka Spezia.jpg
Okaka at Spezia in 2012
Personal information
Full name Stefano Chuka Okaka[1]
Date of birth (1989-08-09) 9 August 1989 (age 33)
Place of birth Castiglione del Lago, Italy
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Istanbul Basaksehir
Number 77
Youth career
Castiglionese
Sanfatucchio
2001 Centro Italia Parma
2002–2004 Cittadella
2004–2005 Roma
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2012 Roma 34 (2)
2007–2008Modena (loan) 33 (7)
2009–2010Brescia (loan) 17 (2)
2010Fulham (loan) 11 (2)
2011Bari (loan) 10 (2)
2012Parma (loan) 14 (3)
2012–2014 Parma 2 (0)
2012–2013Spezia (loan) 38 (7)
2014–2015 Sampdoria 36 (8)
2015–2016 Anderlecht 37 (15)
2016–2019 Watford 36 (5)
2019Udinese (loan) 16 (6)
2019–2021 Udinese 57 (12)
2021– Istanbul Basaksehir 37 (13)
National team
2007–2008 Italy U19 3 (0)
2008 Italy U20[2] 2 (2)
2009–2010 Italy U21 7 (2)
2014–2020 Italy 5 (1)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 08:32, 14 October 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 22:02, 15 November 2020 (UTC)

He began his career at Roma, debuting shortly after his 16th birthday and being loaned to several other teams for the duration of his contract. He totalled over 125 Serie A games for that club, Bari, Parma, Sampdoria and Udinese. Abroad, he played 47 Premier League matches for Fulham and Watford, and had a season in Belgium with Anderlecht.

Club careerEdit

RomaEdit

Born in Castiglione del Lago, Umbria, Italy to Nigerian parents who later obtained Italian citizenship, Okaka joined the Roma youth system in 2004. He was part of the team that won the U-20 national title in 2005 and scored goals against Juventus in the semi-final and Atalanta in the final.

On 29 September 2005, at the age of 16 years, 51 days he made his debut with the first team in the UEFA Cup, playing against Aris. He thus became the youngest footballer to debut in an international competition for an Italian team.[3] Okaka scored his first goal for Roma in a Coppa Italia match against Napoli on 8 December, with a powerful run from midfield and a precise shot to the left of the goalkeeper, making him the youngest goalscorer in the competition at the age of 16 years, 121 days.[4] He made his Serie A debut with the club later that month, on 18 December, at the age of 16 years and 125 days, in a 1–1 away draw against Sampdoria.[4][5][6]

Okaka scored his first Serie A goal on 17 September 2006, concluding a 3–1 win over Siena, just 38 days after his 17th birthday, after coming on as a substitute for Francesco Totti. He made his debut in the UEFA Champions League ten days later, in a 2–1 away loss to Valencia, aged 17 years, 49 days.[4]

Okaka was subsequently loaned to Serie B side Modena for the 2007–08 season in order to gain some first team experience. He scored seven times in 33 appearances.[7] After returning to Roma, he signed a new contract which lasted until 30 June 2012. As a part of it, he earned a gross annual salary of €600,000 in the first two seasons, which then increased to €700,000 and €900,000.[8] He also spent a six-month loan period at Brescia in Serie B from January to June 2009, where he scored two goals in 16 appearances.[9]

On 6 August 2009, substitute Okaka scored his first goal with Roma in a continental competition, the final goal in a 7–1 win away to Gent in the second leg of the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round (10–2 aggregate).[10] He scored again in the Europa League in Roma's 2–0 win over CSKA Sofia and in Roma's 2–1 win over Fulham. His last goal with Roma was an 88th-minute winner against Siena.

On 1 February 2010, he joined Fulham on loan until the end of the season. He made his debut in the 1–0 win over Portsmouth on 3 February, and scored his first goal for the club eleven days later in a 5th round FA Cup tie at home to Notts County.[11] He scored his first league goal for the club against Wigan Athletic on 4 April, in a 2–1 win at Craven Cottage.[12] He was cup-tied for Fulham's run to the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final.[13]

In January 2011 Okaka moved to Bari on loan. There, he scored his first goal against Lecce for 1–0 win. In this game he and Kamil Glik marking their debuts for Bari. He scored one further goal for Bari that season. Okaka sustained an injury in round 30 and missed the rest of the season.

In August 2011, Okaka was attacked by Roma fans after a training session for allegedly not wishing to sign autographs.[14]

ParmaEdit

After failing to make a single appearance for Roma in the first half of the season, on 22 January 2012, Okaka joined Parma on loan until the end of the season.[15] He scored his first goal on 7 March, the opener in a 2–2 against Fiorentina.

Okaka signed a permanent deal with Parma on 20 August 2012. The following day he was loaned to the newly promoted Serie B club Spezia where he made 38 appearances, scoring seven goals and assisting six more. After his loan spell, he returned to Parma for the 2013–14 season, making only two Serie A matches as a substitute.[16]

SampdoriaEdit

On 31 January 2014, Okaka was transferred to the fellow Serie A outfit Sampdoria on a permanent deal, with Nicola Pozzi moving the opposite direction.[17] He made a good start to his Sampdoria career, scoring five times in 13 appearances in the 2013–14 season.

He scored his first goal of the 2014–15 season on 14 September 2014, a solo effort, in the 2–0 victory against Torino on 14 September 2014.[18] On 10 June 2015, the owner and president of Sampdoria Massimo Ferrero told the Italian media that Okaka would be leaving the club.[19]

AnderlechtEdit

On 28 July 2015, Okaka joined Belgian side Anderlecht from Sampdoria for a reported fee of €3 million.[20]

Watford / UdineseEdit

On 29 August 2016, Okaka joined Watford from Anderlecht on a five-year contract.[21] He scored his first two goals on 10 December, against Everton in a 3–2 win.[22] In his second season, after the departure of compatriot manager Walter Mazzarri, he was more used as a substitute; his one goal came on opening day, opening a 3–3 draw with Liverpool at Vicarage Road.[23]

On 8 January 2019, Okaka was loaned to Udinese for the rest of the Serie A season, having played just 47 minutes for Watford all season across three substitute appearances. Both clubs were owned by Giampaolo Pozzo.[24] He scored six goals in 16 games as the Bianconeri avoided relegation, including braces in consecutive wins over Frosinone and SPAL in May.[25][26]

Okaka's move to Udinese was made permanent on 2 September 2019, on a three-year contract.[27]

International careerEdit

After gaining Italian citizenship in 2007, Okaka was selected for the Italian Under-19 side. He made his debut for the Italy U-20 team in 2008, scoring two goals.[2] On 17 November 2009, he made his debut with the Italy U-21 squad in a match against Luxembourg.

In April 2014, Okaka revealed he was in talks with the Nigeria Football Federation about the possibility of him switching allegiance to his parents' country and play with the Nigeria national football team already at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[28]

However, Okaka was included in the Italy squad for their friendly against Albania on 18 November 2014 by manager Antonio Conte. He made his debut as a substitute, replacing Sebastian Giovinco in the second half, and scored the only goal of the match in the victory at Sampdoria's home ground, the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.[29]

Personal lifeEdit

Okaka's twin sister, Stefania Okaka, is also a professional sportsperson.[30] A volleyball player, she plays for Béziers Volley of the French first division[31] and the Italian national team.

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 13 October 2022[32]
Club Season League National cup League cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Roma 2005–06 Serie A 8 0 6 1 3[a] 0 17 1
2006–07 Serie A 6 1 2 0 3[b] 0 11 1
2008–09 Serie A 9 0 1 0 1[b] 0 1[c] 0 12 0
2009–10 Serie A 7 1 1 0 6[d] 3 14 4
2010–11 Serie A 4 0 0 0 1[c] 0 5 0
2011–12 Serie A 0 0 0 0 2[d] 0 2 0
Total 34 2 10 1 15 3 2 0 61 6
Modena (loan) 2007–08 Serie B 33 7 1 0 34 7
Brescia (loan) 2008–09 Serie B 16 2 0 0 2[e] 0 18 2
Fulham (loan) 2009–10 Premier League 11 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 13 3
Bari (loan) 2010–11 Serie A 10 2 0 0 10 2
Parma 2011–12 Serie A 14 3 0 0 14 3
2012–13 Serie A 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013–14 Serie A 2 0 0 0 2 0
Total 16 3 0 0 16 3
Spezia (loan) 2012–13 Serie B 38 7 0 0 38 7
Sampdoria 2013–14 Serie A 13 5 0 0 13 5
2014–15 Serie A 32 4 2 0 34 4
Total 45 9 2 0 47 9
Anderlecht 2015–16 Belgian Pro League 37 15 2 0 10[d] 2 49 17
Watford 2016–17 Premier League 19 4 1 0 0 0 20 4
2017–18 Premier League 15 1 1 0 0 0 16 1
2018–19 Premier League 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
Total 36 5 2 0 1 0 39 5
Udinese (loan) 2018–19 Serie A 16 6 0 0 16 6
Udinese 2019–20 Serie A 33 8 0 0 33 8
2020–21 Serie A 22 4 1 0 23 4
2021–22 Serie A 2 0 1 0 3 0
Total 73 18 2 0 75 18
İstanbul Başakşehir 2021–22 Süper Lig 31 12 1 0 32 12
2022–23 Süper Lig 6 1 0 0 10[f] 4 16 5
Total 37 13 1 0 10 4 48 17
Career total 386 85 19 2 1 0 35 9 4 0 446 96
  1. ^ Appearances in UEFA Cup
  2. ^ a b Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
  3. ^ a b Appearance in Supercoppa Italiana
  4. ^ a b c Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  5. ^ Appearances in Serie A promotion play-offs
  6. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa Conference League

InternationalEdit

As of match played 15 November 2020[2][32]
Italy
Year Apps Goals
2014 1 1
2015 2 0
2016 1 0
2020 1 0
Total 5 1
Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.[2][33]
List of international goals scored by Stefano Okaka
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 18 November 2014 Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy   Albania 1–0 1–0 Friendly

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Squads for 2016/17 Premier League confirmed". Premier League. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "OKAPA CHUKA STEFANO – Convocazioni e presenze in campo" (in Italian). FIGC.it. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  3. ^ "Roma in scioltezza" (in Italian). UEFA.com. 29 September 2005. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Ben Gladwell (15 September 2014). "Stefano Okaka could be top Italy striker, says Sampdoria coach". ESPN FC. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  5. ^ Fiorenzo Radogna (21 November 2016). "I più giovani a esordire in Serie A Pellegri come Amadei quando la carriera inizia a 15 anni" (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Stefano OKAKA CHUKA" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Roma reward for Okaka Chuka". UEFA. 16 October 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Prolungato il contratto economico per le prestazioni sportive di Stefano Okapa". AS Roma (in Italian). 16 October 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Quaresma finisce al Chelsea" [Quaresma ends up at Chelsea]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 2 February 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Roma-Gent con un 7 a 1 nel passato. Ecco la squadra che Fonseca incontrerà nei sedicesimi" [Roma-Gent with a 7–1 in the past. Here is the team that Fonseca will meet in the last 32]. Corriere dello Sport (in Italian). 16 December 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Fulham 4 – 0 Notts County". BBC Sport. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Fulham 2 – 1 Wigan". BBC Sport. 4 April 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  13. ^ "Juventus vs Fulham". Sky Sports. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  14. ^ Landolina, Salvatore (10 August 2011). "Roma Condemn Fan Attacks On Ahmed Barusso & Stefano Okaka". Goal. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  15. ^ Coerts, Stefan. "Official: Parma sign Roma's Stefano Okaka on loan". Goal. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  16. ^ "Shirt numbers 2013–14". Parma F.C. 6 August 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  17. ^ "Okaka è un calciatore blucerchiato, Pozzi va al Parma". U.C. Sampdoria (in Italian). 31 January 2014. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  18. ^ Grimaldi, Filippo (14 September 2014). "Sampdoria-Torino 2–0: Gabbiadini e Okaka, show a Marassi". La Gazetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Sampdoria, Ferrero: "No a Pazzini. Eder resta, Okaka via. Cassano? Vedremo..."". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 10 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Official: Anderlecht sign Okaka". Football Italia. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Official: Okaka signs". Watford FC. 29 August 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  22. ^ MacInnes, Paul (10 December 2016). "Walter Mazzarri hails Stefano Okaka after Watford rally to hold off Everton". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  23. ^ Storey, Matt (30 December 2017). "Watford fans delighted as Stefano Okaka handed his first since Liverpool on the opening day". Hertfordshire Mercury. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Official: Okaka joins Udinese". Football Italia. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Frosinone-Udinese 1-3, Okaka e Samir fanno respirare i friulani" [Frosinone-Udinese 1-3, Okaka and Samir allow Friulians to breathe]. La Repubblica (in Italian). 12 May 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  26. ^ "Udinese-Spal 3-2: Okaka fa respirare l'Udinese" [Udinese-SPAL 3-2: Okaka allows Udinese to breathe] (in Italian). Mediaset. 18 May 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Stefano Okaka: Italy striker joins Udinese from Watford". BBC Sport. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  28. ^ "Okaka gioca per la Nigeria? "Ci penso, ma sono italiano"" [Okaka playing for Nigeria? "I am thinking, but I am Italian"] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  29. ^ "International friendly: Italy edge to narrow 1–0 victory over Albania in Genoa". Sky Sports. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  30. ^ Geypen, Diederik (11 August 2015). "Stefano Okaka maakt voorlopig het meeste indruk met tweelingzus Stefania". voetbalkrant.com (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  31. ^ Lambaerts, Geert (24 October 2015). "Tweelingzus van Okaka: "Stefano heeft in België zijn lach teruggevonden"". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  32. ^ a b "S. Okaka". Soccerway. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  33. ^ Stefano Okaka at National-Football-Teams.com

External linksEdit