Joseph Philip Yobo popularly known as Joseph Yobo is a famous Nigerian professional and international football player, investor, entrepreneur and a philanthropist, who played as a center back and defender for his country Nigeria national team (Super Eagles) and a former center defender for English Premier League club Everton.
He was born on 6th September 1980 in Kono, a small village in Kahana area of Rivers State in the south southern part of Nigeria. He is currently 37 years old. He has been described as one of the best defensive player in Nigeria and one of the best influential footballers in Africa.
Joseph Yobo started off his professional football career in 1996. In 1998, He left Nigeria to join Standard Liege. In 2000, he made his first team debut and went on to appear 46 times. In 2001, he was bought by Marseille.
Joseph Yobo was the first African to be given the post of a captain in his club in England. He captained his club Everton for many years and also captained his country’s national team (Super Eagles) for many years before retiring from international football in June 2014.
After spending few years in Marseille, Joseph Yobo was signed to Everton on loan in July 2002. In 2003, he was signed permanently to Everton after a dispute between Yobo and his former club Marseille was settled, with Everton agreeing a fixed additional fee of £4 million.
Joseph Yobo became one of the most consistent players in the Everton squad and was one of only seven players in the entire league to play every minute of every game throughout the 2006-2007 seasons.
On 15th April 2007, Joseph Yobo became the record appearance holder for an overseas player while at Everton, a record which he held unto until early 2012. During the UEFA Cup match against Larissa of Greece which was held on 25th October 2007, Joseph Yobo was named as captain in the absence of Phil Neville and finally became the first African player to captain his club (Everton).
On 6th May 2009, Joseph Yobo scored his first goal of the season against West Ham United to seal a 3-1 win against West Ham United. Unfortunately, on 29th November 2009, Joseph Yobo scored an own goal in Everton 2–0 defeat to Liverpool.
On 31st August 2010, Joseph Yobo signed a one-year loan contract with Fenerbahce. He played in 30 official matches of Fenerbahce and scored a goal, helping his team to win the league title. On 4th August 2012, Joseph Yobo signed a 3-year contract deal with Fenerbahçe on a permanent basis, after having played for Everton for 10 years. On 17th August 2012, Joseph Yobo scored a goal in a match between his club Fenerbahçe and against another club Torku Konyaspor.
On 30th January 2014, Joseph Yobo returned to England on loan at Norwich City for the remainder of the season with a view to a permanent move in the summer. On 8th February 2014, he marked his debut for the club with a clean sheet against top-scoring club like Manchester City.
Joseph Yobo has represented the Super Eagles of Nigeria at three FIFA World Cups and six African Cup of Nations. After participating with the Nigerian squad in 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship quarter-finals, Joseph Yobo made his senior international debut against Zambia in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier on 24th March 2001.
In 2010, Joseph Yobo made his second World Cup appearance at the 2010 tournament in South Africa, after which he was appointed as the captained of the Super Eagles of Nigeria on the international retirement of Kanu Nwankwo.
In June 2014, Joseph Yobo was included in Stephen Keshi squads for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On 30th June 2014, he made his 100th international appearance, captaining Nigeria against France in the round of 16.
In 2010, Joseph Yobo got married to former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Adaeze Igwe in a court wedding and in a midnight ceremony held in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. Joseph Yobo had a very low key ceremony barely three months after he met the beauty queen in December 2009. In April 2010, Joseph Yobo and his beautiful wife welcome their first baby boy named Joey Yobo.
Unfortunately, in July 2008, Joseph Yobo younger brother named Norum Yobo was kidnapped in Port Harcourt, River State in the south southern part of Nigeria and was held for ransom. He was eventually released after been held on captive for 12 days on 17th July 2008. In 2007, Joseph Yobo set up the Joseph Yobo Charity Foundation, to help less privileged children in Nigeria. As of 18th July 2007, Joseph Yobo has handed out over 300 scholarship awards ranging from primary to university level. Joseph Yobo has a football academy in the Ogoni region of Nigeria. He also runs a football camps in Lagos, Nigeria.
Joseph Yobo is currently one of the richest and most influential football player in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $35 million.