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Isaac Okoronkwo

Personal information
Place of birthNbene, Nigeria
Height1.82 m (5 ft 11.6 in)
Playing positionCentre back
Club information
Current clubFC Rostov

     Home | Football | Isaac Okoronkwo

Isaac Okoronkwo (born May 1, 1978 in Nbene, Nigeria) is a professional football player who currently plays as a defender for FC Rostov in Russia.

Okoronkwo started his career at FC Lagos before moving to the Nigerian topclub Julius Berger FC. His first club outside Nigeria was a six month spell at Al-Rayyan in Qatar, but the club could not afford to keep him before this period and he returned home to Iwuanyanwu Nationale. He spent one season there before again heading abroad with Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova for two seasons. In Summer 2000, he signed to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine.

With Shakhtar he played in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup, and won the Ukrainian Cup in 2001 and the league title in 2002. After his contract expired in 2003, several FA Premier League and German Bundesliga clubs like Schalke 04 and Borussia Mönchengladbach tried to sign him. He eventually signed a one-year deal with newly-promoted Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Okoronkwo's time in England did not prove a success though as he was unable to break into the team until the closing months of the season, by which time the club faced almost certain relegation from the top flight. After they suffered the drop, Okoronkwo was released and eventually came to play in Russia with Alania Vladikavkaz. Alania folded under financial problems in 2005 and he signed with FC Moscow in 2006, soon becoming an important member of the starting line-up at his new club. The same season he was voted player of the season, alongside Hector Bracamonte.

Okoronkwo played 25 games for the Nigeria national team since making his debut on January 13, 2001, against Zambia. He played in the 2002 and 2004 African Cup of Nations (finishing 3rd both times) and in the Olympics Games in 2000. He also played in every minute of Nigeria's 2002 World Cup campaign, where they failed to progress beyond the group stage.

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