Ogenyi Eddy Onazi (born December 25, 1992) is an experienced professional footballer from Nigeria, who plays as a central midfielder for Serie D side Casertana and also for the Nigerian national team, Super Eagles.
Ogenyi Onazi was born on the 25th of December, 1992, in Jos, a city in the middle belt region of Nigeria.
Onazi began participating in street football games in Jos in 1998. He attracted a lot of attention due to his skill and football expertise, which allowed him to participate in some of the city’s academies. His football prowess first came to light when he moved to Lagos to play for My People.
Onazi and Sani Emmanuel, his partner, both signed with Lazio in 2011. The two underwent trials in England, Greece, and Italy after competing in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, in which Nigeria reached the final on home soil before losing to Switzerland.
Onazi was initially promoted to the Lazio main squad during the 2011–12 season after competing at the youth level. He replaced Senad Luli in the 90th minute of the final game of the season to make his Serie A debut.
In the 2012–2013 season, Onazi saw more action under head coach Vladimir Petkovic while manning the defense as a midfielder. Notably, he made his UEFA Europa League debut against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, where the game ended in a scoreless draw. On March 7, 2013, against Stuttgart in the round of 16 of the Europa League, he scored his first goal for Lazio. He scored his first Serie A goal on May 8, 2013, in a 3-1 victory over Inter Milan.
On April 13, 2014, he scored his second Serie A goal for Lazio in a 4-2 loss to Napoli. On September 22, 2014, Onazi extended his agreement with Lazio for a another two years, till 2018. On May 31, 2015, his 88th-minute goal in Lazio’s 3-2 victory over Napoli helped the team secure the final Champions League spot. On August 2, 2016, he was transferred to Trabzonspor for €3.5 million.
Onazi moved from Trabzonspor, a side in Turkey’s top-flight football league, to Denizlispor on a free transfer on January 15, 2020. According to rumors, a six-month contract with a one-year extension option has been reached between Onazi and Denizlispor. At the age of 27, the center midfielder’s contract with Trabzonspor was valid until May 2020.
Onazi committed to a deal with SonderjyskE of the Danish Superliga on October 4, 2020, that included the 2020–21 campaign as well as a two–year extension option. On January 5, 2021, three months after his arrival, the club let him go.
On February 18, 2021, Onazi traveled to Lithuania to play for the undefeated Zalgiris club. On July 13, 2021, against Linfield in Champions League qualification, he scored the team’s first goal. From FK Zalgiris, Onazi left on August 18, 2021. He scored twice while playing in 19 games for A Lyga in 2021.
Onazi signed up with the Turkish team Denizlispor on August 20, 2021. He enlisted in the Saudi side Al-Adalah on January 19, 2022. After six years, Onazi made his way back to Italy on August 29, 2022, when he signed with Serie D team Casertana.
Onazi represented Nigeria at the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cups in 2009. He scored his first goal in a 3-1 friendly victory over Venezuela on December 10, 2010, in Florida, the United States.
Onazi was chosen for the 23-person Nigerian roster for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He came on as a substitute during their first game against Burkina Faso. He gave his complete attention to every game of Nigeria’s knockout phase, including the title match.
Onazi was included in the final 23-man squad for Nigeria’s World Cup teams in 2014 and 2018. He participated in each of his nation’s four games during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Onazi was removed from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations because his Achilles injury did not heal completely.
- 2013: Coppa Italy
- 2020: Turkish Cup
According to different sources online, Ogenyi Onazi has an estimated net worth of $1 million.