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Innocent Emeghara

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Innocent Emeghara
Innocent Emeghara - Switzerland vs. Argentina, 29th February 2012.jpg

Innocent Emeghara, 2012
Personalia
Name Innocent Nkasiobi Emeghara
Birthday 27. May 1989
Birthplace Lagos, Nigeria
Size 170 cm
Position Storm
Juniors
Years Station
2002–2003 FC Töss
2003–2006 FC Winterthur
Men
Years Station Games (goals)1
2006–2009 FC Zurich U-21 47 (16)
2009–2010 FC Winterthur 28 (17)
2010–2011 Grasshopper Club Zurich 40 (14)
2011–2013 FC Lorient 28 0(5)
2013–2014 AC Siena 17 0(7)
2013–2014 → AS Livorno (loan) 30 0(4)
2014–2015 Qarabağ Ağdam 8 0(5)
2015–2016 San Jose Earthquakes 7 0(1)
2017–2018 Ermis Aradippou 28 0(9)
2018–2019 Qarabağ Ağdam 11 0(5)
2019–2020 Fatih Karagümrük SK 32 0(7)
2020– FC Winterthur
National team
Years Selection Games (goals)
2011 Switzerland U-21 8 0(5)
2011–2013 Switzerland 9 0(0)
2012 Switzerland Olympia 3 0(1)
1 Only league games are shown.
Status: October 5, 2020

Innocent Emeghara (born 27 May 1989 in Lagos) is a Nigerian-Swiss footballer. From 2011 to 2013 he also played for the Swiss national team in the position of striker. Since the beginning of October 2020, he has been back at his parent club FC Winterthur, from where he launched his career in 2010.

Player career

Association

Born in Nigeria, he came to Winterthur, Switzerland at the age of 13 and played for FC Töss, FC Winterthur and FC Zurich during his youth.[1] From the 2006/07 season, he featured in the 1st division, Switzerland’s third division, for FC Zurich’s U-21 team. In the next three seasons he received more appearances in the 1st division and in the 2008/09 season he made it into the regular squad, but he was never used in the professional team of FC Zurich in the Super League.

For the 2009/10 season, Emeghara moved to FC Winterthur in the Challenge League, where he made an immediate breakthrough. He finished the season joint fourth in the league scoring charts with Frédéric Besseyre of Stade Nyonnais with 17 league goals. This made him of interest to Super League teams and Grasshopper Club Zurich signed him in July 2010. At the Hoppers, he impressed right after his arrival with his tremendous speed.[2] In August 2011, he scored his first Super League hat-trick in an away match against Servette Geneva.

At the end of August 2011, he moved to Ligue 1 side FC Lorient, where he signed a four-year contract. In his first appearance for his new club, he scored the final goal in a 1-1 draw away to FC Sochaux.

In January 2013, Emeghara moved to AC Siena in the Italian Serie A. He scored seven goals in 17 games, but was unable to avoid relegation to Serie B. Emeghara was then loaned out to AS Livorno for the 2013/14 season. He scored four goals in 30 league games.

After Emeghara’s parent club AC Siena was dissolved, he moved on a free transfer to Azerbaijan’s Premyer Liqası to Qarabağ Ağdam. His contract was terminated on 5 January 2015 after eight appearances in which Emeghara scored five goals. Emeghara then trained with his ex-club FC Winterthur[3] and played as an auditioner as part of Hamburger SV’s training camp in Dubai.[4] Although he “behaved fabulously” during the training camp and the test match against Odense BK, according to Peter Knäbel, director of professional football at HSV, Emeghara was not given a contract in Hamburg.[5]

From 31 January 2015 to 31 December 2016, Emeghara played for the San Jose Earthquakes.[6] He then moved to Cyprus to join Ermis Aradippou, where he scored nine goals in 28 games. He then returned once more to Qarabağ Ağdam in Azerbaijan in 2018. In 2019/20 he played in Istanbul for Fatih Karagümrük SK, with whom he was promoted to the top Turkish league in 2020.

He returned to Winterthur in the summer of 2020, signing a two-year contract in early October after spending three weeks training with his parent club FC Winterthur.[7]

National player

In October 2010, he was granted Swiss citizenship[1] swiss nationality and subsequently said that he hoped to be called up for the Swiss national football team.[8] After several appearances for the U-21 national team, he was called up for the first time at elite level for the Swiss national football team in May 2011 and made his debut against England on 4 June 2011.[9]
In June 2011 he played in the U-21 European Championship 2011 with Switzerland and reached there the 2nd place behind Spain. He was a regular player and brought the opponents with his speed again and again in big trouble.

Titles and successes

As an international player

  • Finalist at the U-21 European Championship 2011

Web links

Individual references

  1. a b Footballer with heart and soul: Innocent Emeghara
  2. A sprint rocket with a nose for goal
  3. FC Winterthur Media reports & club news for the second half of the season, 6 January 2015, retrieved 12 January 2015.
  4. Hamburger SV HSV tests Innocent Emeghara(Memento of 4 March 2016 in the Internet Archive), 12 January 2015, retrieved 12 January 2015.
  5. HSV splinter: No contract for Emeghara(Memento of 29 May 2016 in the Internet Archive), Official website of Hamburger SV, retrieved 26 January 2015
  6. Quakes sign Innocent Emeghara third designated player, Official website of the San Jose Earthquakes (English), retrieved on 1 February 2015
  7. FCW signs Innocent Emeghara.FC Winterthur, 5 October 2020, retrieved 6 October 2020.
  8. Nigerian-Born Striker Innocent Emeghara Anxious To Play For Switzerland
  9. Deployment statistics on the website of the Swiss Football Association: A-Team, U-21, U-20, U-19, U-18, U-17, U-16, U-15