Meet the top 10 popular footballers in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria complied by Ibomdailymail.
1. William Paul
William Paul Troost-Ekong was born on September 1st, 1993 in Haarlem, Netherlands. His father Troost Ekong hails from Etinan in Etinan local government area of Akwa Inom State, Nigeria, while his mother, Eleanore Troost, is Dutch. He is a professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Turkish club Bursaspor and the Nigerian national team.
William Troost-Ekong Age
William Troost-Ekong is 26 years old.
William Troost-Ekong Early Life
Ekong grew up in the Netherlands just outside Amsterdam, but regularly visited his family at their home in Ikeja, Lagos. He is the middle child with a junior brother and an older sister. Although doing well at school, he signed for the Tottenham Hotspur academy full time at the age of 16 after spending little team with the Fulham academy, both in England.
William Troost-Ekong Career
After playing football at the youth level in England for Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur, Troost-Ekong began his senior career in the Netherlands with FC Groningen and FC Dordrecht. After being linked abroad with transfers to Celtic and other clubs, he signed for Belgian club, KAA Gent, in July 2015, immediately joining Norwegian club, FK Haugesund, on loan. In July 2017, he signed for Turkish club Buraspor of the Süper Lig.
After representing Netherlands at different youth levels including under-19 and undr-20, Troost-Ekong says he always wanted to play for Nigeria. According to him, “When I got the opportunity to commit my international future by playing for the Super Eagles, it was an easy choice.” He made his senior international debut for Nigeria on June 13th, 2015, playing 90 minutes in an AFCON qualifier against Chad.
He made 3 starts for the senior team in 2016 before being selected by Nigeria’s under-23 team in their 35-man provisional squad for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics where he won the bronze medal with the team.
William Troost-Ekong Personal Life
Troost-Ekong is not married but has a girlfriend. He says his dream is to play in the premier league and to play for the Super Eagles at a big tournament. As a Christian, he hopes to be a role model for any kid that decides to follow their dreams.
2. Ikouwem Udo
Ikouwem Udo Utin was born on November 11th, 1999 in Awka Ibom State, Nigeria. He is a Nigerian international footballer who plays as a defender for Enyimba FC and the Nigerian national team.
Ikouwem Udo Age
Ikouwem Udo is 20 years old.
Ikouwem Udo Career
In 2017, Udo joined Aba giants Enyimba FC.
Udo has represented Nigeria at different youth levels including; U15 Promises in a two-legged friendly against Morocco in Rabat and the NPFL U17 in March 2017. The team paraded U17 players picked from the NPFL clubs in the tournament which had U17 teams of Torino, Athletico Madrid, Spartak Moscow, Mamelodi Sundowns, Club Brugge, Orlando Pyrates, Club Tijuana, University of Pretoria, Football School of India and Bitwest Wits. He made his international debut for Nigeria in 2018 at the African Nathions Championship in Morocco.
3. Etim Esin
Etim Esin John was born in Oron, Akwa Ibom, on October 5th, 1966. He was a stylish Nigerian ex-international attacking midfielder who waltzed his way into the hearts of millions of football lovers in this country following his ingenious style of playing which was similar to that of the ex-Argentine football star, Diego Maradona whom he was nicknamed after.
Etim Esin Age
Etim Esin is 53 years old.
Etim Esin Early Life
Esin was born into a famous aristocratic and polygamous home, with his father married to four wives. His late father was an adviser to Clement Isong, governor of the old Cross River State. As a child, he used to escape from classroom to play football. Although his parents wanted Etiim and his siblings to be educated, he was odd person in the family due to his passion for football. He finished from Methodist High School in 1984 and was already playing for Oron Young Stars at the time.
Etim Esin Career
While playing for Oron Young Stars, he had an opportunity to play a friendly game against Calabar Roversand was adjudged the best player of the match after which Rovers came for his signature. He officially started his soccer career with Calabar Rovers in 1985. But, like a gold-fish, Etim had no hiding place. His signature was highly sought-after and it was with the high-flying Flash Flamingoes of Benin that he pitched his tent the following season. He had Samson Siasia, Waidi Akanni, Mike Obiku, Ndubuisi Okosieme and other equally talented youngsters as teammates but still emerged the leading goalscorer for the Benin side.
This sparked another mad rush for his services and he left Flash after one season to join Iwuanyanwu Nationale of Owerri (now Heartland) in 1987. As he was shining like a million stars for Flash, the handlers of the Flying Eagles were taking notes and it was not long before he was invited to the team which was playing the African qualifiers of the FIFA U-20 World Cup slated for Chile in the same year.
The team breezed through the African qualifiers to emerge winners of the Tessema Cup for African U-20 teams and such was the quality of the team that pundits have argued that it was the best Flying Eagles team ever assembled in terms of talent. The final squad list had players like Willy Okpara, Peter Nieketien, John Okon Ene, Ladi Babalola, Adeolu Adekola, Ikpomwonsa Omoregie, Thompson Oliha, Nosa Osadolor, Etim Esin, and Lawrence Ukaegbu who had made their marks in the domestic League with various clubs as well as Nduka Ugbade, Jonathan Akpoborie, Lucky Agbonsevbafe, and Victor Igbinoba who were members of the victorious Golden Eaglets squad of 1985 so you could understand those who felt the U-20 World Cup was theirs for the taking.
After securing the Tessema Cup and bagging a World Cup ticket with the Flying Eagles, Etim raised the blood pressure of millions of football-loving Nigerians when he sneaked out of the team’s training camp to go clubbing and ran into armed robbers in Surulere, Lagos who shot him in the thigh.
The nation stood still as everyone thought the dream of seeing the Flying Eagles improve on the third-place finish by the 1985 set was going down the drain. Prayers were said and get-well wishes sent to the recuperating star on his hospital bed. Never before, and possibly never since then, had a whole country waited with bated breath on the health of a sportsman like Nigeria did for Etim. Finally, he was declared fit by doctors and pronounced ready to join his teammates to prepare for the World Cup and suddenly hopes became high again among the fans that the U-20 World Cup title would be coming to Nigeria. However, results-wise, Chile turned out to be a disaster. The Flying Eagles lost 4-0 to Brazil, drew 2-2 with Canada and lost 2-0 to Italy in their group games and were booted out.
Etim continued his impressive career in Europe with Genk and it was not long before he was invited to the senior national team, the Super Eagles. He was arguably Nigeria’s most popular player at the tail end of the 1980s and made his senior debut against Gabon (1-0 win) in a 1990 World Cup qualifying series match played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu in January, 1989. He made the assist with which Wole odegbami scored the only goal of the game but scored his first goal against Zimbabwe (3-0 win) in Ibadan six months later in July in a 1990 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. He was a central figure in the Super Eagles ultimately futile bid to qualify for the 1990 World Cup. Unfortunately he was not to last too long in the national team as clouds were already gathering over his career as a result of off-the-pitch events in his Belgium adventure. He played his last match against Ghana (0-0) in Lagos in a 1992 AFCON qualifying series game in April 1991. He had 8 caps and scored one goal for Nigeria.
Etim Esin Personal Life
During his career, Etim experienced lots of problems that prevented him from reaching his full potential. First, was his involvement in a drug case after which he was also shot by armed robbers during the preparation for the Junior World Cup. Another was a rape case he had in Belgium in the early ’90s. He was found to be involved with a Belgian minor who incidentally was having an affair with her father. The the late MKO Abiola was involved as he sent lawyers from Edewor Chambers to defend him and pay his fine of $50,000 which helped to keep him out of jail.
Years later, Etim met a Malian lady in Paris, daughter to a Malian ambassador, to whom who got married to and has a daughter and a son with. Etim says he smokes frequently and loves the Malian food called Kuskus.
4. Mfon Udoh
Mfon Sunday Udoh was born in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, on March 14th, 1992. Born as the last of a large family that comprises seven children, four boys and three girls, he hails from Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Udoh is a prolific striker who has scored numerous crucial tiltle winning goals for Enyimba FC including the Federations Cup final and the NPFL title decider.
Mfon Udoh Age
Mfon Udoh is 28 years old.
Mfon Udoh Early Life
Grwoing up in Calabar, Udoh started to play just for the love and the fun of the game. He later realised that he could be paid for what he loved. He then went on to enroll into the Diamond Stars Football Academy.
Mfon Udoh Career
Udoh began his professional football career with Unicem Rovers of Calabar in 2011 and was top scorer with 8 goals in his only season with the club. In the 2012/2013 season, he played his first season in Nigeria’s top flight league when he joined Akwa United. He scored 16 goals in his debut season which helped his team escape relegation.
After his performances, Udoh earned a transfer to two-time African Champions League winners Enyimba for an undisclosed fee ahead of the 2013/2014 season. Udoh shattered the league goal record when he scored 23 goals in a single season in the 2013/2014 campaign with Enyimba. His achievement that season made him the first player since the Nigerian top flight became professional in 1990 to score more than 20 goals in one season. His feat was not enough as Enyimba could only finish second in the league. They however, had a consolation in the Federation Cup that same season as they beat Dolphins 2-1 in the final with Udoh scoring one of the goals. In the 2014/2015 season, he scored the only goal through a superb solo-run in a crucial away derby against Abia Warriors, to help Enyimba win the 2015 NPFL season.
Udoh’s low points with Enyimba came in 2016 when the team lost out of the CAF Champions League, could not win a single trophy that same year and also failed to make the first four on the NPFL log. He however, emerged as the season’s highest goal scorer of the CAF Champions League. The departure of Chinedu Udoji in 2017 paved the way for him to be named Captain of Enyimba.
On the national team, he made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2014 against Ghana in front of home fans in Uyo.
Mfon Udoh Personal Life
At his leisure, Mfon enjoys a lot of music, movies, the karaoke’s and tennis. A devote Christian, he is currently single and is inspired by Brazilians Ronaldo and Neymar.
Mfon Udoh Awards
A fearsome striker in the opposition’s box, Udoh has won numerous individual awards including; Nigerian Premier League and Enyimba Top Scorer in the 2013/2014 season, League Bloggers Player of the Month Award Winner for August 2013, Nigerian League Bloggers 2013/2014 Player of the Season and the 2016 CAF Champions League Top Scorer Award.
5. Imoh Ezekiel
Imoh Ezekiel was born on October 24th, 1993. He is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish clubside UD Las Palmas and the Nigerian national team.
Imoh Ezekiel Age
Imoh Ezekiel is 26 years old.
Imoh Ezekiel Early Life
Although from Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, Imoh grew up in Lagos where he enrolled into the 36 Lion Soccer Academy.
Imoh Ezekiel Career
Imoh joined Standard Liège in January 2013, making his debut on 19 February 2012, coming on as an 85th-minute substitute in the 4–2 loss to Zulte Waregem. On 2 July 2013, Ezekiel was awarded with an improved contract which will keep him at the club until 2017. On 31 July 2014 Ezekiel was transferred to Qatar Stars League club Al-Arabi for around 8 million euros. In 2017, he joined Turkish Super Light club, Konyaspor. In February 2018, the Nigerian forward signed a one-and-a-half-year deal with an option for a further year with Spanish LaLiga club, Las Palmas. He had earlier terminated his contract with Konyaspor, over unpaid wages.
He received his first call-up to the Nigeria national team in February 2014. He earned his first senior cap on 6 March, in the 0–0 draw with Mexico in a friendly match after coming on as a second-half substitute for Victor Moses. He starred for Nigeria at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, winning the bronze medal with the Dream team.
Imoh Ezekiel Personal Life
Imoh is currently dating a model. In 2016, he bought a white Porsche Cayenne Turbo S worth $114,700.
6. Samuel Emem Eduok
Samuel Emem Eduok on January 31st, 1994 in Itu, Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. He is a professional footballer who plays for Turkish club, Kas?mpa?a, on loan from Tunisian club Espérance, as a winger and striker.
Emem Eduok Age
Emem Eduok is 26 years old.
Emem Eduok Early Life
Emem grew up in Akwa Ibom State before joining the youth team of Dolphins in 2011.
Emem Eduok Career
Eduok played for Dolphins and Akwa United, and was the second-top scorer in the 2014 Nigeria Premier League with 20 goals. In December 2014 he signed a contract with Norwegian club Sarpsborg 08; after changing his mind he signed a second contract with Tunisian club Espérance in January 2015, resulting in a transfer row. He completed the transfer to Espérance later that month. He moved on loan to Turkish club, Kas?mpa?a, in August 2016. He extended the loan deal a year later.
He has played for the Nigeria under-20s, and played at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He made an appearance in an unofficial friendly between a ‘Nigeria XI’ (the national B team) and ‘Ghana XI’ (the national Olympic team) in November 2014, scoring the only goal of the game. He had to pull out of the senior national team in January 2015 due to his ongoing club transfer row. He made his senior debut as a 69th-minute substitute in the 2017 Cup of Nations qualifier at Tanzania, getting off one shot on goal.
7. John Ubong Friday
John Ubong Friday, was born in Awka Ibom State, NIgeria, on March 3rd, 1998. He is a professional footballer who plays as a striker for Akwa United in the Nigerian Premier League.
Ubong Friday is 22 years old.
Ubong Friday Early Life
In the past years, Friday has been a pivotal player for Akwa United. In 2017, the team won the Federations Cup beating Niger Tornadoes on penalties in a keenly contested game played in Agege, Lagos. This qualified the team for the 2018 CAF Confederations Cup. The striker who is represented by PiSk Piotr Skorupa, lost out in the preliminary round of the competition with his team.
Friday represented Nigeria at the 2017 WAFU Cup where the team lost in the final to hosts Ghana. He also helped the team qualify for the 2018 African Championship but did not make the final squad list for the tournament in Morocco.
Ubong Friday Awards
Friday’s long range strike for Akwa United against ABS on Matchday 21 won the VAT Wonder Goal of the week in the 2017 season.
8. Ndifreke Effiong Udo
Ndifreke Effiong Udo, born 15 August 1998, is a Nigerian footballer for Akwa United. He hails from Akwa Ibom State.
He has represented Nigeria at the 2015 African Games, 2015 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations and the 2016 Summer Olympics. He made his debut for the Nigeria national football team on 26 March 2019 in a friendly against Egypt, as a 90th-minute substitute for Shehu Abdullahi.