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Maduka Okoye Biography: Inside The Life Of Nigerian Goalkeeper

Maduka Emilio Okoye (born August 28, 1999) is a professional footballer from Nigeria. He plays as a goalkeeper for EFL Championship club Watford and the Nigeria national team, Super Eagles.

Early Life

Maduka Okoye was born on the 28th of August, 1999 in Dusseldorf, Germany. He was born and raised by an Igbo Nigerian father and a German mother.

Career

Professional Career

He played for Bayer Leverkusen’s youth team from 2009 until the summer of 2017, when he switched to Fortuna Düsseldorf.

On October 14, 2017, he made his professional debut in the Regionalliga West by taking Max Schijns’ place in the 43rd minute of Fortuna Düsseldorf II’s game against Wuppertaler SV due to an injury. With 36 points after 34 games, his team finished the season in 15th position, just avoiding relegation to Oberliga. During the 2017–2018 season, he made 5 appearances, conceding just 1 goal while keeping 4 clean sheets.

In the 2018–19 season, he made his debut as the team’s regular goalkeeper. On April 13, 2019, he faced SV Rödinghausen in his final game of the season after being replaced in goal for the following games by goalie Jannick Theissen. Throughout the course of the season, he made 15 appearances, surrendering 25 goals while posting three shutouts.

This time around, his squad performed better than it did the previous year, finishing the season in the 12th slot with 42 points after 34 games. On August 24, 2019, he took the field in his first match of the 2019–2020 campaign, a 2-1 home triumph over Schalke 04 II.

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In July 2020, Okoye signed a free transfer agreement with Sparta Rotterdam of the Eredivise. He was chosen as Sparta’s Player of the Season in 2020–21 after posting 10 clean sheets in 28 league games. On August 4th, 2021, Okoye extended his contract till 2025.

On November 8, 2021, it was announced that Okoye has agreed to a five-and-a-half-year deal with Premier League team Watford for an undisclosed amount. Okoye started competing for Watford on January 1, 2022. As per the agreement, Okoye was returned on loan to Sparta Rotterdam until the end of the 2021–22 campaign. Okoye made his Watford debut on August 23, 2022, in a 2-0 EFL Cup second-round loss at home to MK Dons.

International Career

According to the team’s coach, Gernot Rohr, Maduka was intended to be invited to the Nigerian National Team before the 2018 World Cup, but the plan fell through.

Imama Amapakabo, the team’s head coach, invited him to join the Nigerian U23 Team for the match against Libya U23 on February 22, 2019, however he was unable to participate due to club obligations.

On May 9, Maduka received a second invitation to play for the Nigerian U23 side against Sudan U23 in the 2019 African U23 Cup of Nations qualification game. Gernot Rohr, the coach of the Nigerian National Team, hinted on July 26, 2019, that he was focusing on Maduka in an effort to fix the goalkeeping problem that had plagued his team ever before Carl Ikeme’s illness-related retirement.

On August 14, Maduka received an invitation from Rohr to attend a friendly match against Ukraine that would take place on September 10 at the Dnipro-Arena. On October 13, 2019, he made his national team debut against Brazil in a friendly match that finished in a 1-1 draw.

He was named to the 28-Man Nigerian Squad for the 2021 AFCON Nations Cup on December 25, 2021, by Interim Coach Eguavoen.

Net Worth

According to the analysis made from different sources online, Maduka Okoye has an estimated net worth of $1 million. He actualized his wealth from his football career.

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Written by PH

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