Samuel Chimerenka Chukwueze (born 22 May 1999) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a winger or forward for Spanish club Villarreal and the Nigeria national team. Samuel has often been compared to Arjen Robben because of his skillset.
Early Life and Career
Samuel Chukwueze was born in Amaokwe Ugba Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria. He is of Igbo descent and was brought up in a Christian family with a younger brother and a younger sister. He attended Government College Umuahia and Evangel Secondary School. He started playing football at the age of 8 and he admired Jay-Jay Okocha as his football idol growing up. He has been mentored by Hon. Victor Apugo whom he saw as a father, as stated in his earlier interview.
Chukwueze joined Villarreal CF’s prolific youth setup in 2017, from local side Diamond Football Academy. After being initially assigned to the club’s Juvenil A squad, he made his senior debut with the reserves on 15 April 2018, coming on as a second-half substitute for Sergio Lozano in a 1–1 Segunda División B away draw against CE Sabadell FC.
Chukwueze scored his first senior goal on 20 May 2018, netting his team’s second in a 3–1 away defeat of Bilbao Athletic. He contributed with two goals in 11 appearances during his first season, as his side missed out promotion in the play-offs.
Chukwueze made his first-team debut on 20 September 2018, replacing Nicola Sansone in a 2–2 home draw against Rangers, for the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League. He also made his league debut on 5 November 2018, playing a 90-minute full play in a 1–1 home draw against Levante, for the 2018–19 La Liga.
In April 2019, he won the Nigeria Football Federation’s 2018 Young Player of the Year award.
After playing for Nigeria at the under-17 level, he received his first call-up to the senior team in October 2018. He made his debut for the Nigerian senior team on 20 November 2018 as a starter in a 0–0 friendly draw against Uganda.
In May 2019, Chukwueze was invited to represent Nigeria’s senior team at the Africa Cup of Nations and the Under-20 team at the Under-20 World Cup. However, Villarreal said he could only play in one of the tournaments. He ultimately decided to take part with Nigerian’s senior squad for Africa Cup of Nations hosted in Egypt and scored his first senior goal in Nigeria’s 2–1 win over South Africa in the quarter-finals.
The AFCON bronze medallist was on Tuesday, 30 July, revealed as one of the 50 youngsters to watch in world football by UEFA’s official website, with a worth of about $33 million.
Titled: 50 for the future: UEFA.com’s ones to watch in 2019–20; Chukwueze, 20 was described as a “Precocious winger with UEFA Europa League experience; the Nigeria Football Federation’s young player of the year for 2017–18.
Facts About Chukwueze
– Samuel Chukwueze was born in Abia State, Nigeria. He made his LaLiga Santander debut for Villarreal CF against Levante on 4 November 2018. Since then he’s scored twice for the Yellow Submarine against Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis, making him the youngest player to have scored two or more goals in the competition in 2018 season.
– On 20 November 2018, he made his international debut for the Nigeria Super Eagles, playing 45 minutes in a 0-0 draw with Uganda.
– Chukwueze began playing football at the age of five, inspired by legandary Nigerian playmaker Jay-Jay Okocha who he used to watch on TV. He models his playing style on Arjen Robben, and as a fellow left-footed winger his game draws many parallels with the former Real Madrid star.
– He caught the eye with his performances in the Under-17 World Cup in 2015, which Nigeria won. His goal after just 25 seconds in a 5-1 win against hosts Chile was the fastest of the tournament, and he went on to win the Bronze Boot with three strikes in total.
– In 2017, he joined Villarreal CF from the famed Diamond Football Academy. Despite his success, his parents originally didn’t want him to play football, but eventually allowed him to pursue his career after realising his prestigious talent.
Samuel’s parents’ names are not yet made public in domain, Samuel loves his family especially his mom.
Samuel Chukwueze was born and raised in a Christian loving home alongside his younger brother (David Chukwueze) and sister (Princess Chukwueze) into the family of Mr and Mrs Chukwueze.
– Samuel Chukwueze took to social media to celebrate his mum on her birthday
– The Nigerian winger sent her adorable message to felicitate with her
While sharing her picture on his official Instagram page, the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations bronze winner said:
“Happy birthday sweet mom, I love you so much, God bless your new age.”
As of 2021, Samuel Chukwueze is currently single and focusing on his career more for now. The young footballer, Samuel is not yet married and is currently single.
In October 2019, Samuel Chukwueze agreed to a new deal with his Spanish club Villarreal CF till June 30th, 2023. The four-year contract sees Chukwueze’s release clause set at €100m for the first two years and then €80m from the third year.
Like most clubs, does not publicly declare the wages of their players, but it has been reported that Samuel currently collects €18,000 per week.
Samuel Chukwueze’s net worth as of 2021 is estimated at around $1.2 million (net worth estimated in 2021).