By Ayo Matthew
The Super Eagles of Nigeria played out a 2-2 draw against Ukraine in an international friendly at the Dnipro Stadium on Tuesday. It was the first time the team returned to action after they finished third at the African Cup of Nations in Egypt. It was indeed a good game despite the absence of some first-team players and one of the most impressive players on the night was Joe Aribo; a new invitee to the national team. His confidence on the ball was excellent, his vision was superb and his timely tackles were top-notch as he made his debut for the team. He also scored the team’s first goal on the night to round off a brilliant start to his National team career.
How well do you know Joe Aribo? Here are five things you don’t know about him;
1.His full name is Joseph Joseph Oluwaseyi Temitope Ayodele-Aribo and he was born on the 21st of July 1996, in Camberwell, United Kingdom.
2. He started his football career with Kinetic Academy before joining a semi-professional football club known as Staines Town. He had an impressive outing as he bagged the club’s academy player of the year in 2014. He signed for Charlton Athletic in May 2016 after a successful trial and he helped the team to win EFL League Championship playoffs where Charlton defeated Sunderland 2-1 at the Wembley Stadium.
3. Aribo’s transfer fee from Charlton to Rangers where he currently plays is less than 350,000 pounds as a result of cross-border transfer regulations. The midfielder signed a four-year contract with the Scottish club and made his debut on the 9th of July 2019 in a 4–0 win over St Joseph’s of Gibraltar in the Europa League.
4. His goal against Ukraine put him in the list of Nigerian players who scored on their International debut. The list includes; Teslim “thunder” Balogun, Brian Idowu, Julius Aghahowa, Finidi George, Victor Agali and Obafemi Martins as Nigerians to have scored on their international debut. Aribo’s goal came in the 4th minute as he tapped in Alex Iwobi’s square play pass into the box.
5. Joe Aribo joined Rangers because he had a chat with Rangers’ coach; Steven Gerard and the Liverpool legend convinced him to join the club. In his words; “It’s because of the size of the club. It’s also because of the manager, I had a chat with him and he persuaded me this is the best for me and I’ve trusted him and now I’m here.” So far, he has played 12 games for the club and he has 4 goals to his name. What more would you like to know about this Super Eagles goal-scoring debutant? Enter your questions in the comments section below