Samuel Chukwueze is a professional Nigerian-born footballer who plays for Villarreal CF and the Nigerian national team as well. Chukwueze is a talented player who was touted as having the ability to lead the Nigerian Flying Eagles to the top of world football. He plays as a forward winger and is very popular both locally and internationally for his explosive style of play.
In this article, we will discuss more on Samuel Chukwueze football career including his style of play. More importantly, before this, we will disclose some facts that many people didn’t know about Samuel Chukwueze. Thereafter, we will provide a detailed biography of this talented footballer.
Let us get started with a summary of 10 facts that you should know about Samuel Chukwueze just after the Table of Contents.
10 facts everyone should know about Samuel Chukwueze
- Samuel Chukwueze was born on 22nd May 1999 in Umuahia, Abia State, thus he is from the Igbo tribe. He will be 21 years old in 2020.
- The professional footballer started playing football at a young age and by the age of only 8 years old, he was already enrolled in a local football club.
- When Chukwueze was 13 years old, he won the Iber Cup tournament in Portugal in 2013 and scored the highest number of goals in the competition as well.
- Chukwueze was part of the Nigerian Golden Eaglets U-17 team that won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015.
- He made his first senior debut for Nigeria on October 2018 and was also part of the Super Eagles squad at the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
- Samuel Chukwueze was the youngest player to score at the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) held in Egypt.
- Chukwueze was courted by English Premier League Arsenal but the move failed through paving the way for the youngster to sign for Villarreal FC, a Spanish Club. Arsenal would later chase his signature from Villarreal but that hasn’t been successful so far.
- He was named the winner of the Nigeria Football Federation’s 2018 Young Player of the Year award in 2019.
- While he mentions that Nigerian veteran midfielder, Jay-Jay Okocha is his mentor, he acknowledges that he owes his success to his mentor and sponsor, Prince Victor Apugo.
- Samuel Chukwueze’s current market value is £27 million after reaching a high £60 million. The fall in value was consistent with what has been happening following the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic in virtually all industries.
Samuel Chukwueze Biography: Early life and education
The star footballer popularly called Samuel Chukwueze was born on 22nd May 1999 to Igbo parents in Amaokwe Ugba Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria. His full name is Samuel Chimerenka Chukwueze and he was raised in the Nigerian business hub state, Abia.
Chukwueze is the first child in a family of three children. According to him, his parents were devoted Christians and he was brought up to be God-fearing along with his younger brother and sister. He attended the Government College Umuahia but completed his secondary school education at Evangel Secondary School.
His father was a church leader while his mother worked as a nurse while he was growing up.
Samuel Chukwueze: Starting football career
Samuel Chukwueze has mentioned time over time that he always adored Nigerian veteran footballer Jay-Jay Okocha while growing up. The retired footballer was his idol and he was not alone. Several youngsters who grew up playing football in the 2000s mostly aspired to attain the kind of fame and admiration that Jay-Jay Okocha reached both locally and internationally.
Chukwueze started taking football seriously when he was about eight years old. Around this time, he started out with Future Hope U-8 and U-10 teams. He continued playing when he started secondary school.
In an interview about his early start to football, the Nigerian winger admitted that his love for football clashed with his education when he was much younger. It got to a stage that his family allegedly burned his boots to put an end to his footballing activities. But he pushed on undeterred.
While his family was against him playing football at the detriment of his education, Chukwueze was single-minded about it. After leaving his childhood clubs, he played with New Generation Academy for some time. Thereafter, he joined Diamond Football Academy in 2012, where his light shone brilliantly.
Diamond Football Academy took the youngster as part of its youth team to the Iber Cup tournament in Portugal in 2013. This time, his parents saw that he was doing something good with his football passion and had to give him their blessings. The team won the tournament and Chukwueze finished as the top goal-scorer as well.
Hon. Victor Apugo was the general manager of Diamond Football Academy at this time. He kept mentoring Samuel Chukwueze and likely opened doors for him to join the Nigerian U-17 team in 2015, just two years after the youngster’s international exploits.
It is no wonder that at one time when he scored against Spanish football giants Barcelona, Chukwueze dedicated the goal to his mentor saying:
“I want to specially dedicate this goal to my mentor Prince Victor Apugo who adopted me like his son when nobody knew me. He has always been there for me and really helped me.”
Watch the sensational goal below:
Now, let us look at Chukwueze’s international career from when he was included as part of the Nigeria U-17 team.
Samuel Chukwueze Biography: International career
Nigeria Under-17 Golden Eaglets team
Samuel Chukwueze kicked off his international football career with the Nigeria U-17 team, known as Golden Eaglets, in 2015. He was a key player in the side that went to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015 to represent the country.
While he was outgunned in goals by powerhouse Victor Osimhen, Chukwueze managed to put his name on the scoring sheet as well. He finished the tournament as a golden medalist along with the Bronze Boot award as the third-best scorer of the tournament. This award was given him a month after the competition as it had been wrongly been awarded to his teammate Kelechi Nwakali.
Chukwueze had played on the wing side for Nigeria and notched three goals and three assists during the tournament. He caught the eyes of many talent hunters with his explosive pace and direct dribbling that left many defenders stranded many times.
Nigeria senior national Super Eagles team
In October 2018, Samuel Chukwueze was called on to represent Nigeria at the senior team level. However, he had to wait until one month later to make his Nigeria senior team debut as a starter. He was part of the team that played out a goalless draw against Uganda on 20th November 2018.
The next year, after seeing his rapid improvements and growth on the field of play, Nigeria once again called on him to lend his services again. The country wanted him to play at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2019 and in the U-20 World Cup as well. But, his club at the time, Villarreal kicked against this according to a BBC report. They said Chukwueze could only play in only one of the tournaments.
— Samuel chukwueze (@chukwueze_8) July 11, 2019
Thus, he opted to represent the country at the AFCON 2019. Chukwueze was an integral part of the team, despite being one of the youngest. He notched his first senior goal for Nigeria in a 2-1 win against South Africa in their quarter-final clash, which earned him recognition as the youngest player to score at the 2019 AFCO tournament.
Watch Samuel Chukwueze’s goal against South Africa
Read more on this here: Nigeria through to AFCON’s semifinal after beating South Africa 2-1
In April 2019 he won the Nigeria Football Federation’s 2018 Young Player of the Year award.
Samuel Chukwueze biography: Club career
Chukwueze became a part of Villarreal CF’s prolific youth team in 2017. As mentioned earlier, he had initially plied his trade with the Nigerian local club side, Diamond Football Academy.
Initially, when Chukwueze arrived at Villarreal, he was assigned to the club’s Juvenile A squad. Not long after, he made his senior debut with the reserves on 15th April 2018. He came on as a second-half substitute in the team’s 1–1 Segunda División B away draw against CE Sabadell FC.
— Samuel chukwueze (@chukwueze_8) September 21, 2018
On 20th May 2018, Chukwueze scored his first senior goal for the club in a 3–1 away win over Bilbao Athletic. At the end of his first season, he scored two goals in a total of 11 appearances for Villarreal but his side still failed to be promoted in the play-off stages.
Samuel Chukwueze made his first-team debut on 20th September 2018, replacing Nicola Sansone in a 2–2 home draw against Rangers, in the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League. That same year, on 5th November 2018, the Nigerian international played a full 90-minute in a 1–1 home draw against Levante, during the 2018–19 La Liga season.
In an interview with Squawka, he revealed that he had dreamed of playing in England as a youngster. In fact, he had nearly gone to Arsenal before he joined Spanish side, Villarreal. In his words:
“It was very close for me to sign for Arsenal, almost had the contract in my hands. Unfortunately, it did not work out fine with my academy due to the side of agreement and payment. They did not agree with the terms of the contract.”
?????what a feeling pic.twitter.com/PDxEfXip9r
— Samuel chukwueze (@chukwueze_8) March 10, 2019
Recognition and fame
Since that life-changing international experience with Diamond Football Academy, Samuel Chukwueze has come quite far in his footballing career. Playing for Villarreal, he has come to be recognised as a player with a spot in top rankings in the following years.
In April 2019, the youngster had tormented Barcelona in what became a memorable game for him. He had been instrumental in his team’s 4-4 draw against the Spanish League giants. At one time, The Sun claimed that Chukwueze worth about £60 million in the transfer market. His value seems to have dropped as Transfer Markt pegs it at about £27 million now in 2020.
Several European clubs have been seeking his signature and this includes Arsenal that had failed to sign him earlier. In a recent interview, veteran Villarreal midfielder, Santi Carzola named Samuel Chukwueze as the fastest player he had ever played with.
The football star was also named by UEFA official website as a player to look out for in July 2019. In the article titled 50 for the Future, UEFA described Samuel Chukwueze with the following words:
“Precocious winger with UEFA Europa League experience; the Nigeria Football Federation’s young player of the year for 2017/18.”
Samuel Chukwueze plays from the right flank of the field and usually, cuts in past the full left-backs to either shoot or put the ball into the area for his teammates. His quick feet, explosive pace and wealth of skills have earned him comparisons with ex-Netherland international, Arjen Robben.
Samuel Chukwueze: Net worth
We could not find a specific figure for how much Samuel Chukwueze is worth. There are many different figures being named as his net worth. With none of them coming from verifiable sources.
But the star player seems to be doing quite well with his club in Spain and he currently has a deal that will keep him at the club until 2023.
Samuel Chukwueze Biography: personal life, relationship & lifestyle
It is common for football superstars to live lavish lifestyle as they get a taste of wealth. Another common ingredient in the mix of flashy celebrity life is parading supermodel girlfriends. But that has not been the case so far for Samuel Chukwueze. We have not found any mention of him being involved in any scandal with a member of the opposite sex.
However, in September 2019, reports emerged that Chukwueze had bought an exotic car that was allegedly worth NGN98 million. This was because he had posted a picture of himself posing beside the car. However, after the issue went viral with many criticising such a lavish display despite not being among the huge earners in football, the player came forward to clear the air.
He revealed that he didn’t own the car. According to a report from The Cable, Chukwueze said:
“It was not Samuel that bought the car. The car was supposed to be taking me to training or anywhere I want to go to because I don’t know how to drive. That day, I just posed and took a couple of shots with the car. That was all. It is not my car.”
Final thoughts …
Samuel Chukwueze started out from a very young age as one who loved football. He went to great lengths to prove this love as his biography has shown that his parents did not support the career path he had chosen for himself.
However, when he got the opportunity to prove his worth, he did it beyond all doubts. This desire to show his ability has defined most of his life-changing moments. He had done it with Diamond Football Academy, outscoring his peers, he did it with the Nigerian U-17 Golden Eaglets, playing with unreal skill and zest, and he is doing with his club side Villarreal.
Samuel Chukwueze’s career is just starting and we can’t wait to see more of his exploits both at the club and of at the international level as well.
Bonus Samuel Chukwueze information
Samuel Chukwueze football statistics
Villarreal B – 2 goals in 20 appearances
Villarreal – 12 goals in 68 appearances
Nigeria – 2 goals in 12 appearances
Honours and Awards
FIFA U-17 World Cup Gold Medalist (2015)
FIFA U-17 World Cup: Bronze Boot (2015)
DFA: Most Influential Player of the year (2016)
MCL Cup: Most Valuable Player (2016)
Nigeria Football Federation’s 2018 Young Player of the Year award (2019)
African Cup of Nations Bronze Medalist (2019)