Uche Okechukwu: African defence masters

Born in Lagos September 27 1967, the former Super Eagles of Nigeria captainĀ  played as a central defender and was nicknamed the gentle giant because of his body physique.

Born in Lagos September 27 1967, the former Super Eagles of Nigeria captainĀ  played as a central defender and was nicknamed the gentle giant because of his body physique.

Uche was the fulcrum of Super Eagles’ defence and part of the Super Eagles golden generation in 1994 World Cup, AFCON and 1996 Olympics.

Early Career

Uche Ukechukwu played for Flash Flamingoes and Iwuanyanwo nationale in Nigeria before moving to Europe for professional football.

Professional Soccer

His first professional soccer in Europe was in Denmark with Brondby IF from 1990 – 1993. There after headed to Turkey where Fenerbache S.K signed him. After a stint of nine years at Fenerbache the Gentle giant jointed Istanbulspor still in Turkey in 2002 played there for four years until 2006.

Retirement from Professional soccer

In 2007, he headed back to Nigeria and played for Ocean Boys and Bayelsa United from 2007 to 2009 where he retired from football at age of 41. Uche Ukechukwu obtained Turkish citizenship under a new name Deniz Uygar where he partially resides.

National Team

Okechukwu made his debut for Nigeria in 1990 AFCON in Algeria against the Desert Foxes of Algeria, in a 5 – 1 loss. They went to lose the finals to the host country Algeria 1-0 again.

He represented Nigeria in AFCON editions 1990, 1992 and 1994, World Cup;1994, 1998 ; Olympics; 1996.

Uche retired from Super eagles in 1998 after dismal performance in France 98 after 4-1 loss to Denmark.

Honours

Nigeria Premier League:1987 – 1988.
Danish Superliga : 1990/91 Brondby IF.
Turkish Superlig- 1995/96, 2000/01 Fernebache.
AFCON – 1994 Tunisia
Olympics – 1996 Atlanta Georgia U.S.A.

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