Kelechi Iheanacho is a talented Nigerian footballer who currently plays for English professional football club – Leicester City FC and the Nigerian national football team.
One of Nigeria’s biggest international soccer stars, the wonder kid has made several wonderful and brilliant appearances for Nigeria and his club.
Biography of Kelechi Iheanacho
The talented soccer star was born to James Iheanacho (father) and Mercy Iheanacho (mother) on October 3, 1996, in Obogwe, in Ohaji Egbema local government area of Imo State.
His father was a trader while his mother, who died when he was 14 years old, was a teacher. Iheanacho has a sister and two brothers. One of them is Chibuike Iheanacho, who he believes would be a very great player in the future.
While growing up, his parents severally flogged and punished him for playing football with his peers. However, they became supportive after he led Imo state to win a Youth tournament in Abuja.
Iheanacho began his career at the Taye Academy in Owerri, Imo State. His carer breakthrough, however, came in 2013 when he featured at the U-17 FIFA World Cup, winning as a member of the Nigerian national team.
The soccer star’s international career began at Man City on January 10, 2014, when he joined Manchester City’s Academy. He scored in a 4-1 win during City’s first match tour against Sporting Kansas City during a pre-season tour in the USA.
The wonder kid also sent the ball flying into the net when he faced A.C Millian in a 5-1 win. Impressed with the teen’s performance, Manchester City arranged for him to join Colombus Crew but the teams’ plan couldn’t pull through.
This hitch subsequently frustrated Iheanacho as he did not play in England until February 2015. The Nigerian-born soccer star later made his debut in a UEFA Youth League match against Schalke 04. However, he couldn’t play because he got injured barely 11 minutes into the game.
After his recovery, he began to represent Manchester City at both youth and under-21 level in the latter part of the season. In July 2015, Iheanacho also grabbed a spot on City’s list of pre-season tour team in Australia.
Kelechi Iheanacho captured the hearts of many football fans during the competition. He set up the first goal for Raheem Sterling in Australia and launched City on the winning side when the club played against Roma in the 2015 International Champions Cup.
Man City Iheanacho also set up Raheem Sterling for the 4th goal in Manchester City’s 8–1 victory against Vietnam. Remarkably, he scored for City in a 4-2 defeat game against VFB Stuttgart during City’s last pre-season game.
After earning much admiration and performing beyond expectation during City’s games in Australia, Kelechi was promoted to the Manchester City senior squad.
After his inclusion in the senior squad of Man City, Iheanacho was benched during City’s 3-0 victory in their first Premier League game.
During a game against Watford at the City of Manchester Stadium, Iheanacho made his first competitive appearance for Man City.
On 12 September 2015, the wonder kid scored his debut goal which doubles as the only and winning goal of the match after he replaced Wilfried Bony in an away match against Crystal Palace.
Iheanacho also made several other brilliant appearances for Manchester City. On January 30, Kelechi Iheanacho brought down the stadium and won the hearts of City’s fans across the globe after he scored his first hat-trick against Aston Villa in the fourth round of the FA.
The footballer joined Premier League club Leicester City on 3 August 2017 on a five-year contract for a reported £25 million fee. He made his debut for the club on August 11, 2017, in a 4–3 defeat to Arsenal but netted his first goal for the English club on October 24, 2017, in a game against Leeds United.
Internationally, Kelechi Iheanacho formed part of the Nigeria-U17 squad. His major international tournament was the unforgettable 2013 African U-17 Championship in Morocco. At the tournament, Iheanacho scored an amazing hat-trick against rival country Botswana.
The left-footed attacker also won the ‘Golden Ball’ in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He was simply outstanding during the tournament; having provided seven assistants and scoring six good times.
After his brilliant performance at the Nigeria-U17 games, Iheanacho Kelechi trained with Nigeria’s squad for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup; featuring in only two matches.
However, Iheanacho made his first appearance in the Nigerian senior team during Nigeria’s game against Egypt on March 25, 2016, in an African Cup of Nations qualifying game. Nigeria hosted the game but eventually drew with visiting team Egypt.
Iheanacho earns £115,000 a week at Leicester City FC. Until his offload to the King Power stadium, he was earning £85,000 ($106,000) weekly at Manchester City. His net worth is reportedly pegged at $5 million dollars.
Being one of the highest paid Nigerian footballers, Kelechi Iheanacho leads a lavish lifestyle and also spends his money on good things.
He owns a sprawling mansion valued at £2million (approximately 8 Million Naira) in Manchester and is working on another mansion worth $2.79 million in Lagos, Nigeria.
Iheanacho loves fancy wheels as much as he loves playing football. An avid lover of BMW cars, the soccer star reportedly has BMW 18 car worth $ 279470 and a Mercedes c300 car worth $45,425.
1. Iheanacho made history on 16 January 2018, when he became the first English football player to be awarded a goal due to VAR, following an incorrect rule against his second goal in a 2–0 win over Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup Third Round replay.
2. Over the course of the Nigerian youngster’s career at ManCity, he netted 21 goals in 64 game appearances, of which most was as a substitute.
3. He has made 10 appearances for Nigeria with six goals to his name.
4. Kelechi Iheanacho is rated one of the highest paid Nigerian footballers. He keeps pace with the likes of Victor Moses, Odion Igalo, and former Leicester city player and fellow compatriot Ahmed Musa.
5. The Nigerian attacker reportedly earns around 70,000 pounds weekly at Leicester City FC.
6. The Sportsman, besides making big money from his career, has also won so many football awards in the time he has been on the soccer pitch. Iheanacho is the winner of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Ball (2013), CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year (2013), CAF Team of the Year (2016), FIFA U-17 World Cup Silver Shoe (2013), and CAF U-17 African Championship Silver Shoe (2013).
7. He stands at a height of 1.85 m.
8. The talented football star is possibly single as there’s no record of his past relationship neither is he currently seeing any girl. He appears to be in love with his career which is the source of his fortune and fame.
9. The Imo State-born football player was nominated for FIFA Golden Boy Award in 2016.
10. One of the exclusive players in the English Premier League, Iheanacho holds a record for scoring 10 goals before the age of 20 like legendary players Nicola Anelka, Romelu Lukaku, Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, and Ryann Giggs, who also achieved the same feat.
11. His favorite song is Senegalese-American R&B and hip-hop artist Akon’s Freedom.