Leon Aderemi Balogun (born 28 June 1988) is an experienced professional footballer who plays as a defender for an English Championship team, Queens Park Rangers, and the Nigeria national team, Super Eagles.
Early Life & Education
Leon Balogun was born on June 28, 1988, to a Nigerian-Yoruba father and a German mother in Berlin, West Germany, a nation in Europe. Balogun was raised as a Roman Catholic and went to Catholic school starting in his early years.
Leon Balogun made his Bundesliga debut for Hannover 96 against Hamburger SV on April 19, 2009. After his contract with the Bundesliga team in the summer of 2014 expired, he was without a club for three months before joining Darmstadt 98. He consented to a contract that will be in effect from the 2014–2015 season.
On May 22, Balogun signed a two-year contract with Brighton & Hove Albion of the Premier League. In the first half of Brighton’s match against Manchester United, Balogun came on for an injured Lewis Dunk to make his professional debut. The club eventually defeated United 3-2 at Falmer Stadium.
Additionally, he made it 2-0 against bitter rivals Crystal Palace in just 25 seconds after scoring his first goal for Brighton and replacing Pascal after Shane Duffy was sent for headbutting. Brighton won the local rivalry game 3-1, giving them the right to boast. On August 27, 2019, Balogun took part in his first-ever EFL Cup match, a 2-1 road win against Bristol Rovers.
Wigan Athletic and Balogun came to a six-month loan arrangement on January 31, 2020. On June 25, 2020, he agreed to a short-term, permanent contract with the Latics that would last through the end of the 2019–20 season.
Balogun and Scottish Premiership team Rangers signed a one-year contract on July 24, 2020, with a one-year extension option. He made his Rangers debut against Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership a week later on August 1, and he played well as his team won 1-0.
In February 2021, he filled in at right back for injured club captain James Tavernier and suspended backup Nathan Patterson. Balogun played right back early in his career while residing in Germany.
On April 9, 2021, Balogun extended his one-year contract with the Rangers. He scored the team’s first goal on October 27, 2021, against Brondby IF in a Europa League group stage match.
Balogun played in Rangers’ 2022 Scottish Cup win before leaving the club in June 2022 after his contract expired. On August 26, 2022, Balogun agreed to a one-year deal with Queens Park Rangers.
Nigeria called up Balogun to replace Joseph Yobo for a friendly match against Mexico in March 2014. Balogun entered the game at halfway but was injured after 20 minutes when he hit the touchline markings. He was predicted to miss two to three months after surgery because of a foot fracture.
On March 25, 2015, he took part in his second game for Nigeria, a 1-0 loss to Uganda. He played in his third game for the country on June 13, 2015, as they defeated Chad 2-0 in the opening round of the 2017 African Nations Cup qualifying.
He was a member of Nigeria’s 23-man final roster for the June 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Despite the fact that Nigeria’s squad was eliminated after finishing third in their group, Balogun gave his whole attention to each of the three games, including a 2-0 win over Iceland.
Balogun is a member of the Nigerian side competing in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He made his competitive debut against Guinea in Nigeria’s second group game, which Nigeria won 1-0 to proceed to the knockout stages. Balogun took part in the contest where The Super Eagles took home four bronze medals.
- Scottish Cup: 2021–22
- Scottish Premiership: 2020–21
- UEFA Europa League runner-up: 2021–22
- Africa Cup of Nations third place: 2019
According to sources online, Leon Balogun’s net worth is estimated at around $2 million.