Inspiring Story Of John Utaka


John Utaka is a forward of the French club Montpellier HSC, he was born on 8 January 1982 in Enugu (Nigeria).

John’s professional career began at the local football club Enugu Rangers where Utaka played for a year.

In 1998 John Utaka signed a two-year contract with an Egyptian football club Arab Contractors for which he played over a period of two years until 2000. The footballer participated in 45 club matches scoring 11 goals.

In 2000 Utaka continued his career in Ismaily SC which also plays in the Egyptian Premier League. John participated in the club’s matches for a year thus playing 21 games and scoring 17 goals.

In 2001 Utaka was offered to move to Al-Sadd of Qatar. The footballer accepted the offer and signed a contract in accordance with which he played with that club until 2002.

During the 2001/02 season, John Utaka appeared in 27 matches and scored 14 goals.

In the year 2002, John was called up to various European football clubs among which there was Lens.

That French club appeared to be the most persistent and managed to sign a contract with the player.

John played for the club till the end of the contract in 2005. The striker became an effective element in a club’s counter-attacking. The head coach lined up the Nigerian forward in 102 matches in three years.

John met the team’s expectations by scoring 24 goals.

In 2005 John received another offer. This time Utaka decided to join the French football club Rennes which played with varied success either in Ligue 1 or in Ligue 2.

Utaka played for the club over a period of two years until 2007. The footballer appeared in 63 games scoring 22 goals.

In 2007 Portsmouth paid £7 million for Utaka to join the English football club. With that club, John signed a three-year deal until 2007.

But the hopes laid on the player justified only partly. John participated practically in every match however his talent did not become apparent in England.

During 4 years spent in the English Premier League, John scored only 10 goals in 90 matches.


In 2011 John received a fair proposition from Montpellier HSC from the French Ligue 1. Utaka intended to leave Portsmouth and the offer from the French club was the best bid in the given situation.

Utaka joined Montpellier on a two-and-a-half-year deal in January 2011 and at present, he actively participates in Montpellier matches.

Since 2002 John has been periodically called up to the Nigeria national football team matches.


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