Ifeanyi Udeze was born 21 July 1980 and he is a retired Nigerian football player, he played for Nigeria and was a participant at the 2002 World Cup, he usually played as a left fullback, is also used as a center back.
Udeze played for clubs such as Bendel Insurance FC, AO Kavalas (Greece), and PAOK Thessaloniki, before joining West Bromwich Albion in 2003. In his first season with the Albion, he played in the Premier League, joining the club on loan in the latter stages of the season after which Albion was relegated.
Having made his full international debut in 2001, Udeze went on to feature for Nigeria at the 2002 African Cup of Nations and 2004, playing two games.
At the 2002 African Cup of Nations held in Mali, he was selected among the CAF Team of the Tournament.
He was released from AEK Athens in January 2007, six months after signing a three-year contract on 11 August 2006.
On 4 July 2007, he returned to PAOK FC, signing a two-year deal. A niggling knee injury prevented him from grabbing a first-team spot and he was released after a year at the club.
During his playing days, he was Super Eagles’ second choice left-back to former Chelsea left-back, Celestine Babayaro. On some occasions, he played together with Babayaro; both switching positions from the left full-back to the left wing of the midfield, often confusing opponents with their identical style of play.
Ifeanyi Vitalis Udeze he is one of the rarely mentioned positive and inspirational footballers of the Nigerian society, with particular reference to football. Udeze was noted for his feistiness, intelligent marking, and remarkable recovery rate.
Udeze last featured for Nigeria in a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Angola national football team in 2005.
When you make a careful observation of Udeze’s football career from that Under 17 level to the time of his retirement, you will accumulate a total of about ten good years of active and productive football, which confirms the fact that he was truly a teenager when he represented Nigeria at the Under 17 level.
Ifeanyi Udeze had a long and productive professional football career in Europe. He was Captain of PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece and later played for West Brom in the English Premier League.
He survived the purge and went to the World Cup, so it would have been very convenient for him to support the action; however, he has chosen the part of honesty and dignity.
I encourage every young aspiring Nigerian footballer to watch Ifeanyi Udeze every day and see in him a boy who did not subtract seven years from his age in order to be an outstanding footballer.