Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo in the spotlight
Posted: 19 January 2013 Time: 09:36
We take a closer look at Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations.
FULL NAMES: Joseph Ikpo Yobo
BORN: 06/09/1980, in Kono
NICKNAME: Big Joesy, Skippo
CURRRENT CLUB: Fenerbahce
PREVIOUS CLUBS: Michelin, Standard Liege, Olympic Marseille, Everton
MARITAL STATUS: Married to Adaeze Igwe, former Beauty queen
ON THE PITCH:
YOU SEEM TO BE ENJOYING YOUR FOOTBALL AGAIN?
Of course. I spent years at Everton and had some of the best times of my career there. But towards the end, it was not the same as before and it was time to make a change.
When I came to Fenerbahce on loan, it was amazing. The way they received me, the way the fans treated me and the club as a whole.
I had no idea how huge a club this was, and for them to welcome me the way they did felt great. I just knew I would stay.
Now, I'm having fun here. I'm enjoying the football and enjoying the city and my family love it here which is the most important thing for me.
THINKING ABOUT IT NOW, DO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE THAT MOVE EARLIER?
I can't say. Everything happens for a reason and I give God the glory for keeping me so far in my career.
Everywhere I have gone, I have enjoyed my football and I believe that I have moved at the right time, so I have no regrets.
YOU RECENTY RETURNED TO MARSEILLE TO PLAY IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, HOW SURREAL AN EXPERIENCE WAS THAT?
It was a bit emotional for me to return there, but most of the people I knew there had left, so I didnt really meet anyone I knew.
But the real emotional return was when I went to play against Standard Lierge. It is a smaller club and most of the people I left there were still there, including the grounds man.
We shared some old memories and it was one of the best times of my life. To know that you are valued even after you have left.
AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL, YOU HAVE WON THE MOST CAPS OF ANY NIGERIAN PLAYER. THAT MUST BE SATISFYING FOR YOU?
It is an amazing feeling and I thank God for it. When I started, I never knew I would get here, but He has kept me and seen me through all this years and I give Him all the glory.
HOW MUCH LONGER DO YOU INTEND TO CARRY ON? UP TO A HUNDRED CAPS?
If I can. . . (laughs). Seriously, it is all about what the body says. I will just keep taking it game by game as long as my body allows me to.
I look after myself very well and I try to keep myself in shape. But anytime the body says I can't do it anymore, I'll stop.
If it comes before hundred, no problem.
OFF THE PITCH:
YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT FAMILY JUST NOW. MARRIAGE AND BEING A FATHER SEEMS TO WORK WELL WITH YOU?
Oh, very much. It's funny how you don't really appreciate how good it is until you have it. I have been blessed with a wonderful family. They are very important to me right now and everything I do is about them.
YOU AND YOUR WIFE HAVE BEEN DOING A LOT OF CHARITY WORK LATELY?
Yes. I always say that I feel blessed to be where I am today, and the only way I can show appreciation for that is to give back.
I thank God that I have a wife who understands that and even wants to do more.
Last Christmas, we visited a Charity Home and made some donations and spent time with the kids there.
It is always a joy to see the smiles on their faces, and that is enough for me.
AND WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO WHEN YOURE NOT KICKING A BALL FOR MONEY?
Hahaha. I like to spend time with my family. It's such a blessing to have them and I can't spend enough time with them.
We go on holidays when we can, or just have dates. A good family is the best thing a man can have.