Joel Obi

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Joel Chukwuma Obi (born 22 May 1991), known as Joel Obi, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Italian club Chievo Verona and the Nigerian national team

Club career

Inter

After winning the "Allievi Nazionali" Under-17 championship in 2008 under the guidance of Daniele Bernazzani, he moved to the Primavera formation, where he collected over 40 appearances and six goals in just under three years.

In 2009, he was noticed by José Mourinho and led occasionally to the first-team of Inter. In 2010, even if without playing, he was registered to the club's 'A' list of players, who won the Champions League in the final against Bayern Munich.

In the summer 2010, Rafael Benítez definitively moved him with the first-team. Obi made his debut for Inter on 29 September 2010 in a UEFA Champions League group stage game against Werder Bremen. He played the final 10 minutes of the match after coming on as a substitute in the 80th minute for fellow midfielder Dejan Stanković. Inter went on to defeat Werder Bremen in a 4–0 shutout.

Parma (loan)

On 2 September 2013, he was loaned to Parma,in an away match against Catania, substituting Marco Parolo. After only eight appearances he returned to Inter.

Return to Inter

On 28 August 2014, he returned to play for Inter in a home match won 6–0 in the Europa League against Stjarnan. Obi continuously played as a winger in Walter Mazzarri's 3-5-2 formation due to the numerous injuries of his teammates. On 23 November, he played as the starter in the Milan derby, scoring the equaliser (1–1), in his first goal of the season, celebrating with somersaults. He returned to the field as a starter in the home match lost 0–1 against Torino on 25 January 2015, playing as a fullback. He concluded the season with 17 appearances and one goal. Overall for Inter he made 71 appearances and scored three goals.

Torino

On 2 July 2015, Obi transferred to Torino for a €2.2 million fee and signed a 4-year contract.At the beginning of the season he quickly suffered two injuries, the last of which, constraint him to missing the first half of the 2015–16 season. He returned to the field, playing as a starter in the match against Chievo Verona on 7 February 2016, replaced by Alexander Farnerud in the second half. On 26 August 2017, he made his 24th appearance for Torino against Sassulo and scored his second goal and first of the season in the 88th minute. The match ended 3–0 in favour of Torino at home.

Chievo Verona

On 11 August 2018, Obi signed to Serie A club Chievo Verona a 3-years contract with an option for 2022.

International career

Obi made his international debut for Nigeria on 9 February 2011 in a friendly game with Sierra Leone in Lagos. He started the next 11 games in a row for the Eagles before getting injured near the end of 2012. He was named in the preliminary squad for the 2014 World Cup.

In May 2018 he was named in Nigeria's preliminary 30 man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russi

Honours

Internazionale

  • Coppa Italia: 2010–11
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 2010
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 2010

 

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