Joseph Yobo is a household name in Nigeria, especially in the football sphere. He played the center-back position while in his active years with the Nigerian national football team and also served as the captain of the team until his international football retirement in June 2014.
Some prominent facts about him are easy to come by, especially if they have to do with his career exploits but beyond that, many know very little about the personal life of the former defender. There are several lesser-known things about Joseph Yobo’s family life in this piece.
Joseph Yobo’s Professional Football Trajectory
Joseph Philip Yobo was born on 6th September in 1980. His birth took place is Koni, Rivers state, Nigeria. Yobo started off his football career in the year 1996. He was just 16 at the time, and the first club he played for was Michellin-Harcourt. Poised to make a career out of his passion for football, he joined the Standard Liége Club in 1997 and this marked the kick-off of his professional football career. He made his first-team appearance in the year 2000 before the French club Marseille bought him in 2001.
Shortly after this, Marseille gave him up on loan, signing him to play for Tenerife where he spent only nine months. The player returned to Marseille before he was loaned to play for Everton. Luckily for him, he became a steady player for Everton in 2003 after his deal with the club was made permanent.
Career Woes and Subsequent Comebacks
The Nigerian player, of course, bolstered up his team and became the first African to be given the post of a captain in the club. While Joseph Yobo had scored success in the club which he played for until 2010, he has also seen some defeats. In 2009, he scored an own-goal in Everton’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool. This one mistake was almost nothing compared to the strength he brought to the team he represented.
But it appeared Everton manager wasn’t having any of it as Joseph was consistently benched before he was finally loaned out yet again in 2010 to Fenerbahce. While at the club, the star scored a goal after playing in 30 official matches. The loan-contract between Everton and Fenerbahce was renewed at a cost of seven hundred thousand Euros and Yobo had another one year deal with the club worth 2.35 million Euros.
The contract was also renewed in 2012, but on permanent terms, ending his 10-year stay in Everton.
Similarly, the former Super Eagles captain had many highs in his new club but their deal ended amicably before the 2014-2015 season. In 2014, the club bestowed him with a plaque of appreciation and the same year, he was loaned to Norwich City, the last football franchise he played for.
International Appearances and Retirement
Apart from playing in foreign leagues, Yobo played internationally as a member of the Nigerian national senior team in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, as well as Africa’s Cup of Nations the same year. He was a member of the Nigerian national team (Super Eagles) from the year 2001 to 2014. During this period, he made 101 FIFA international appearances, and in all, he scored a total of 7 goals. The part he played in the Nigerian National Team qualified him as the record appearance holder for the Super Eagles.
He sustained a hamstring injury in a match against Benin which prevented him from participating in the Mexico friendly match. He stayed out for about 5 months before he resumed play. It was rumored then that Yobo went to Prophet T.B Joshua (a Nigerian charismatic pastor, televangelist, and philanthropist) for prayers and healing due to the severity of his condition. Following Nigeria’s loss to France in the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, however, Joseph Yobo announced his international retirement.
Joseph Yobo’s Net Worth and the Various Ways He Spends His Money
After many years of playing for acclaimed football franchises and representing his country at the international level, Joseph Yobo has good records to show for his efforts, including a befitting wealth status. The former center back is estimated to have a net worth of $35 million. As of 2014, his salary was a whopping €800 000.
Asides football, Yobo has widened his earning power to include investments. He has stakes in banks and top oil companies, real estate, among other ventures.
He is a Philanthropist
Another fact about the football star is that he loves when others below him enjoy his wealth. He established the Joseph Yobo Charity Foundation in 2007 to help children who find it difficult to attain the necessities of good living in Nigeria.
As of 18 July 2007, he has handed out over 300 scholarship awards at all levels of education (from primary to university) to deserving beneficiaries. Because of his philanthropic gestures, many disadvantaged children have been able to get educated.
He didn’t leave football out of the charity works he’s doing. Yobo has also started a football academy in his hometown – the Ogoni region of Rivers State Nigeria. This is in addition to the football camps he runs in Lagos, Nigeria.
Joseph Yobo’s Cars, and House
Asides reaching out to the underprivileged, Joseph Yobo also has some good taste. This could be seen in the kind of cars he uses. He owns a customized Ferrari 458 spider which costs between $275,000 and $320,000. But that’s not all he has got in his car collection. His fleet of luxurious cars includes Mercedez Benz G63 Wagon, Range Rover Sport, Mercedez Benz ML AMG, Audi Q7, Bentley Continental GT, and Porsche Panamera, S Turbo.
For where he calls home, Joseph Yobo has lived in different countries, including Turkey and the UK but nobody is sure of the number of houses he may have in those countries. In 2013, the landlord of the house he occupied in the UK shared a picture depicting the poor state of an apartment he rented to the footballer.
But of course, the player has quite a lot in his real estate portfolio, including a mansion in Lekki, VGC, and in Abuja both in Nigeria. He also owns a duplex in London and a nightclub known as Extreme Reloaded which he bought for N80 million.
His Family Life With Former MBGN
Joseph Yobo does have an eye for good things. He married an ex-Beauty Queen – the 2008 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria. Yobo met Adaeze Igwe (MBGN 2008) in 2009 at an event. That was when the footballer came to Nigeria to spend a short part of the summer holiday. But upon meeting Adaeze, they fell deeply in love and he had to spend the whole holiday in Nigeria.
Joseph and Adaeze got married just a few months after meeting each other for the first time. Adaeze confessed they never knew anything about each other before then. Speculations have it that the decision to get married on such short notice was because Adaeze became pregnant for him.
The wedding was held at midnight, on 31st December 2009, in Jos, and was not a classy one. However, Yobo defended himself, stating that it was the only time they could have had it for some family reasons. They are blessed with three lovely kids – two sons and a daughter.
About Joseph Yobo’s Wife
Adaeze Yobo is a native of Awka-Etiti, Anambra State of Nigeria, born on April 14, 1990. her full maiden name is Adaeze Stephanie Chinenye Igwe.
She represented her state of origin at the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2008 and beat 29 other beautiful ladies to the crown. The crown came with a prize of five million naira, a Hyundai car and juicy endorsement contracts. As Miss Nigeria, she championed The Adaeze Igwe Foundation to help fight against AIDS and breast cancer
Sequel to winning the MBGN, Adaeze represented the country at the Miss World 2008 and though she didn’t win, her marriage to an acclaimed sportsman has earned her enough global recognition. Adaeze ranked 92 on a list of 101 Sexiest Soccer Wives and Girlfriends, according to Bleacher Report in 2011. She was the 4th Most Beautiful African Sportsman Wife in 2014.