Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Victor Nsofor Obinna (born 25 March 1987 in Jos, Nigeria) is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a winger for West Ham United on loan from Internazionale.
Obinna in Igbo, literally means "Father´s heart". He played for Chievo in Italy's Serie B, having played regularly in Serie A with the club until their relegation in 2007. He made his full international debut for Nigeria at the 2006 African Cup of Nations, scoring once in three appearances as his side were eliminated in the semifinals.
Obinna played for Nigerian clubs Plateau United and Kwara United were he was discovered by FIFA agent Marcelo Houseman, he went on trials with Italian clubs Internazionale, Perugia and Juventus before signing with Brazilian club Internacional, but international clearance problems meant that the transfer was never finalised. He rejoined Enyimba to take part in their domestic league campaign and CAF Champions League defence.
Obinna was signed by Italian club Chievo on a five-year contract in July 2005. In his first season with Chievo, Obinna scored six goals in 26 games, including a goal on his Serie A debut against Parma in a 1–0 win, 11 September 2005.
In summer 2008, Obinna moved back to Internazionale. On 26 August 2009, Spain's La Liga side Málaga CF signed Obinna on loan from Internazionale for one season. He scored his first goal for the Andalucians on 4 October in 1–1 a draw against Xerez.
On 27 August 2010 Obinna signed for West Ham United on a season-long loan from Internazionale with the option of a permanent deal in 2011. He made his debut for West Ham on 11 September in a 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea. He scored his first goal for West Ham in a 2-1 win against Sunderland in the third round of the League Cup on 21 September 2010.
Obinna was a member of the U-20 Flying Eagles that Won Gold in Benin in the African Youth Tournament in 2005 he was called up to the Nigerian senior squad at the 2006 African Cup of Nations, scoring once before his side's semifinal elimination.
In August 2008, he was named amongst Nigeria's squad for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Obinna scored Nigeria's first goal in a 2–1 win against Japan the "Flying Eagles' winning goal in the final group match against the USA, ensuring that Nigeria qualified for the quarter-finals. Nigeria were drawn against Ivory Coast who they beat 2–0, with Obinna scoring a penalty and setting up Peter Odemwingie for the other goal. He later captained the Nigerian team when they beat Belgium 4–1 in the semi-final match, before losing to Argentina in the final.