Victor Moses

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Victor Moses (born 12 December 1990) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a winger on either flank for Premier League club Chelsea and represented the Nigeria national team until 2018.

Moses began his career in the Championship with Crystal Palace, before his performances caught the eye of Wigan Athletic, where he made his Premier League debut in 2010. After two years, his game had improved to the extent that European champions Chelsea were interested, and he signed for them in the summer of 2012. Despite ten goals in all competitions during his first season, he spent his second season on loan to Liverpool, his third on loan at Stoke City and his fourth on loan at West Ham United.

Born in Nigeria, Moses represented England youth teams at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels, but opted to play for Nigeria as opposed to being fully capped for England. He has gained over 20 caps for Nigeria since his debut in 2012 and played in their winning campaign at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, as well as the campaign in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Club career

Early life

Moses was born in Lagos, Nigeria, the son of a Christian pastor. When he was 11, his parents were killed in religious riots in Kaduna when rioters invaded their home. Moses was playing football in the street at the time. A week later, after being hidden by friends, his relatives paid for him to travel to the UK to claim asylum. He was placed with a foster family in South London.He attended Stanley Technical High School (now known as the Harris Academy) in South Norwood. Scouted playing football in the local Tandridge League for Cosmos 90 FC, Crystal Palace approached him, with the club's Selhurst Park stadium just streets away from his school

Offered a place in the Eagles' academy, Palace recommended him to the fee-paying Whitgift School in Croydon, where former Arsenal and Chelsea star Colin Pates was coaching the school football team. Moses first came to prominence at 14 after scoring 50 goals for Palace's under-14s side. Playing for three years at both Whitgift and Palace, Moses scored over 100 goals as well as helping Whitgift win many School Cups, including a National Cup where Moses scored all five goals in the final against Healing School of Grimsby at the Walkers Stadium, Leicester

Crystal Palace

Moses made his first team debut for Palace at the age of 16 on 6 November 2007 in a 1–1 draw with Cardiff City in the Championship.He kept his place in the side thereafter and scored his first senior goal on 12 March 2008 in a 1–1 draw with West Bromwich Albion. In total, Moses played 16 times in 2007–08 as Palace reached the Championship play-offs where they lost out to Bristol City. At the end of the season, he signed a new contract at Selhurst Park, much to delight of manager Neil Warnock, who stated, "Victor signing is a huge coup for the club; I've told Victor he could go as high as he wants. He's improving every day and I am delighted that he has signed this deal as he is a player who will go from strength to strength."

Moses score twice in 32 appearances in 2008–09 as Palace had a disappointing campaign, finishing in 15th position. In 2009–10, Moses went on a run of six goals in eight matches but Palace were suffering huge financial problems and the club went into administration in January 2010.

Wigan Athletic

On the final day of January 2010, he completed a £2.5 million transfer to Premier League side Wigan Athletic after Palace went into administration. He made his debut on 6 February 2010 as a substitute against Sunderland in a 1–1 draw. On 20 March 2010, Moses came on as a substitute against Burnley and got his first assist for the club, setting up Hugo Rodallega for an injury time winner. He scored his first goal for Wigan on 3 May 2010 against Hull City.

Moses picked up two injuries at the start of the 2010–11 season, and found it difficult to make it back into the first-team due to increased competition for places. He scored his first league goal of the season on 13 November 2010 in a 1–0 win against West Bromwich Albion.

Following the departure of winger Charles N'Zogbia, Moses became a regular starter for Wigan in the 2011–12 season. On 10 December 2011, he scored his first goal of the season against West Brom – his first goal since scoring against the same team last season.

Chelsea

2012–13 season

On 23 August 2012, Wigan accepted a fifth bid from Chelsea after they finally met Wigan's asking price after four previously unsuccessful bids. The player was given permission to speak with Chelsea. On 24 August, Chelsea announced that the transfer of Moses had been completed. Moses played his first game for Chelsea when he appeared as a substitute against West London rivals Queens Park Rangers on 15 September.

Moses made his full debut for Chelsea when he started the League Cup game against Wolverhampton Wanderers and scored his first goal after 71 minutes in a game that finished 6–0 to the Blues. Moses started his first Champions League game against Nordsjælland. On 31 October, Moses was named Man of the Match against Manchester United in the League Cup, a game Chelsea won 5–4.

On 3 November 2012, Moses scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea in the match against Swansea City, which ended in a 1–1 draw. Four days later, he scored his first Champions League goal for Chelsea against Shakhtar Donetsk; Moses replaced Oscar in the 79th minute and went on to head in Juan Mata's corner with seconds left to secure a 3–2 win On 5 January 2013, Moses opened his scoring tally for the year with a powerful drive into the bottom corner whilst playing in the FA Cup Third Round against Southampton, as Chelsea came from 1–0 behind to beat the Saints 1–5.

Nigeria

Moses was selected to play for Nigeria against Guatemala in February 2011, but the friendly was cancelled. He then accepted a call-up in March 2011 for Nigeria's games against Ethiopia and Kenya. However, he was ruled out of those games because his application to FIFA to switch nationalities was not received in time. It was announced on 1 November 2011 that FIFA had cleared both Moses and Shola Ameobi to play for Nigeria. Moses was called up to Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring two penalties in their final group stage game against Ethiopia, which Nigeria needed to win to go through. For the second, Ethiopian goalkeeper Sisay Bancha was given his second booking in the events leading to the penalty and was sent off. Ethiopia had already used all three substitutes so their holding midfielder went in goal, and missed Moses' penalty. The game ended 2–0. Nigeria went on to win the tournament, their third such title. Moses started in the final and played the entire game.

Moses was selected for Nigeria's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and started in their opening group match and the Round of 16 match against France as they lost 2–0.

Upon Gernot Rohr's assumption as Nigeria's head coach in August 2016, Moses featured regularly in the FIFA 2018 qualifying matches. Moses scored a brace for Nigeria during a FIFA 2018 qualifying match against Algeria in November 2016, helping them secure a 3–1 victory.

In May 2018 he was named in Nigeria’s preliminary 30 man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he got a crucial equalizer against Argentina, though, his side lost the game in the dying minutes to see Argentina through while Nigeria got eliminated. After the tournament, it was announced by Moses on 15 August that he has retired from playing for Nigeria at international football.

Personal life

Moses grew up supporting Arsenal.He has a son, Brentley, (born 2012) and a daughter, Nyah, (born 2015).

Honours

Chelsea

  • Premier League: 2016–17
  • FA Cup: 2017–18
  • UEFA Europa League: 2012–13

Nigeria

  • Africa Cup of Nations: 2013

Individual

  • PFA Fans' Premier League Player of the Month: November 2016
  • Premier League Milestones Award: 200 appearances

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