Tijani Babangida: Wikis


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Tijani Babangida
Personal information
Full name Tijani Babangida
Date of birth September 25, 1973 (1973-09-25) (age 36)
Place of birth    Kaduna, Nigeria
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6+12 in)
Playing position Winger
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Niger Tornadoes
Roda JC
VVV-Venlo (loan)
Gençlerbirliği (loan)
Vitesse (loan)
Al-Ittihad Jeddah (loan)
Changchun Yatai

78 (26)
34 (19)
77 (20)
12 0(2)
14 0(1)
05 0(0)
29 0(8)[1 ]   
National team
1994–2002 Nigeria 37 0(5)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Olympic medal record
Men's football
Gold 1996 Atlanta Team competition

Tijani Babangida (born September 25, 1973 in Kaduna)[2 ] is a former football winger from Nigeria. Known for his pace, his playing style was sometimes compared to that of Marc Overmars.[3][4] Babangida spent the majority of his playing career at Ajax Amsterdam. Overall, he has played in five different countries on three three different continents. At club level, Babangida spent nine years in the Netherlands, playing for VVV Venlo, Roda JC and Ajax Amsterdam, winning the League plus Cup double with the latter side. He played over 30 games for his national side, including four at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. He took part in two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and won Olympic gold in 1996. Babangida made his international debut in 1994. He lost his place in the squad right before the 2002 World Cup. After a two-year lay-off from international football, Babangida was recalled to the Nigeria team for the 2004 African Cup of Nations preparations in Portugal.


Personal life

Babangida, sometimes nicknamed "TJ"[5], was born into a large family in the city of Kaduna in 1973. He is married to Rabah, the sister of Daniel Amokachi's wife.[4] Two of his nine brothers Ibrahim and Haruna are also professional footballers.[6] The former spent five years at Volendam, while the latter became the youngest ever player in the history of Spanish football to have a buy-out clause in his contract and the second youngest player to appear for FC Barcelona, when he made his debut in 1998 as a fifteen year-old.[6][7][8]

In 2004 Babangida signed a $2m deal to bring quality footballs to Nigeria.[9] The same year he opened a modern shopping mall in Kaduna.[9] Upon retiring from professional football, Babangida has also been working as a football agent.[9]

Playing career


Early career

In 1991, the 17-year-old Babangida left his local Niger Tornadoes to sign with the Dutch Eredivisie side Roda JC, after performing well at the Cairo 91 All African Games.[10] The player was loaned out to Roda's league rivals VVV Venlo until the end of the season.[11 ] Babangida made a total of only six league appearances, finding the net three times in the second part of the 1991–92 Eredivisie season.[1 ] Despite Venlo's relegation to Eerste Divisie,[12] Babangida remained at the club for another year.

The 1992–93 became a breakthrough season for Babangida as his 16 league goals helped Venlo to the top of Eerste Divisie and promotion to the Dutch top-flight.[1 ][13] The following season Babangida returned to Roda, immediately becoming a first-team regular with the Kerkrade side. Babangida made a total of 29 league appearances for Roda that season, scoring 11 goals.[1 ]

Babangida spent two more seasons at Roda JC. Babangida's 10 league goals in 1995–96, made him the club's top scorer that season.[14] In 1995, Babangida made his European debut, scoring a goal in the UEFA Cup first-round win over Olimpija Ljubljana, Roda's first European campaign in five years. Roda went on to beat the Slovenian side 5–2 on aggregate, but fell to the 27-times Portuguese champions S.L. Benfica in the second round. Solid performances at both international and club level led to interest from Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam, as Louis van Gaal was looking to replace Babangida's compatriot Finidi George,[3] who had recently departed to Real Betis.

Ajax Amsterdam

Babangida joined Ajax in the Summer of 1996 in a long-anticipated $5m move.[4] He appeared in 29 league games, scoring four goals in his first season with Ajax.[1 ] Babangida played an important role in Ajax's European campaign, scoring three goals, including one against Auxerre in the group stages,[15] and the winning goal in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League encounter with Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, that put Ajax through to the semi-finals of the competition.[16]

Babangida had a successful second season with the club as he helped Ajax to another Eredivisie title with a 39 point gap over PSV Eindhoven, while his 13 league goals in 26 games made him the club's third top scorer, behind the Eredivisie golden boot winner Shota Arveladze and Finnish forward Jari Litmanen.[17] Ajax clinched the second title of the season with a 5–0 victory over PSV in the KNVB Cup final, with the Nigerian scoring the first goal.[4]

Babangida's fortunes started to change towards the end of 1998. Having missed the start of the season with malaria,[18] Babangida gradually lost his starting line-up position as Morten Olsen was looking to improve on the team's inconsistent performances both in the domestic league and in Europe. Babangida started two of his team's opening Champions League games.[4] The European season, however, ended in disappointment as Ajax finished bottom of their group behind Olympiacos, Croatia Zagreb and Porto.[19] Overall, Babangida appeared in 18 league games for Ajax that season, starting only seven.[4] He didn't feature in the Dutch Cup final where Ajax managed to retain the trophy after beating Fortuna Sittard in the final.[4]

Babangida saw even less playing time after the 1999 season, as he made a mere eight appearances the following year and didn't play a single game in the first half of the 2000–2001 season.[1 ] In an attempt to offload the player, Ajax came to an agreement with the Turkish Süper Lig side Gençlerbirliği, who signed Babangida on a half-year loan deal until the end of the season.[20]

After Ajax

The spell in Turkey, however, proved to be an unhappy time for Babangida and the Ankara side chose no to pursue their interest in the player once the loan deal expired.[5] Looking for a move away from the Netherlands, Babangida came close to signing with AJ Auxerre, but received a last-minute call from Ronald Koeman and agreed to join him at Vitesse Arnhem instead.[20] Another loan move followed. First team player under Koeman, Babangida subsequently lost his place in the starting line-up,[21 ] when Ronald Koeman left for Ajax Amsterdam and was replaced by Edward Sturing.[22]

He then signed a six-month loan deal with Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia in 2002, joining the former Brazil international Bebeto and ex-Liverpool striker Titi Camara at the Jeddah club, but walked out of the team in November after disagreements with José Oscar Bernardi, the Brazilian coach who wanted him to play at the right back position.[23][24][25] Looking to resolve the deadlock with Ajax, Babangida returned to Amsterdam to continue negotiating a termination of his contract with the club.[26] On April 30, 2003, three years since Babangida played his last game for the club, it was announced that both sides had come to an agreement and the player's contract was finally terminated.[27]

As a free agent, Babangida underwent a successful trial at the Chinese top-flight side Tianjin Teda in the Summer of 2003.[28] The move, however, was put off due to the outbreak of SARS in China,[29] and Babangida signed with the second-tier side Changchun Yatai shortly after.[20] His four goals in the second part of the season helped his team to the Jia B title and earned him a recall to the national team for their preparations for the 2004 African Cup of Nations.[30] Babangida scored four more goals for Yatai the following season before retiring.[31]

International career

Babangida received his first call-up to the senior Nigeria national team for a pre-World Cup friendly against Romania in 1994. He then played in a friendly against Georgia, but did not make the final squad for USA 94.[4]

Babangida's international chances were partly limited due to the fact that he often found himself behind Finidi George in the pecking order.[4] He played an important role in his team's Olympic triumph in Atlanta in 1996,[32] as Nigeria overcame tough resistance from Brazil and Argentina, packed with the likes of Dida, Roberto Carlos, Bebeto, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Hernan Crespo, Claudio López, Ariel Ortega and Diego Simeone among others.[33 ][34 ][35] Babangida took part in Nigeria's France 98 campaign, playing a total of 120 minutes as he started one game and came on as a sub in the other three. He scored his team's only goal in the second-round defeat to Denmark. [36] In January 2001, Babangida appeared in an exhibition game at the Yokohama International Stadium (known as the Nissan Stadium nowadays), playing for FIFA XI in a game against the unified team of Japan and South Korea.[37]

Babangida only made his African Nations Cup debut in 2000 as Nigeria withdrew from the 1996 edition in South Africa due to political reasons and missed out on Burkina Faso 1998 through disqualification.[38 ][39] Babangida scored two spectacular goals against South Africa to put Nigeria through to the final where they were narrowly defeated on penalties.[40] He appeared in all of his team's five games, starting two.[39]

He then featured in Nigeria's run to the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals, scoring two important first-half goals against Ghana on the final day of the African qualifying round, helping Nigeria seal the final African region World Cup berth.[41] Babangida played in all of his team's games at the 2002 Nations Cup, but was dropped ahead of the World Cup, alongside several other experienced players like Sunday Oliseh and Finidi George.[42] He was recalled to the national team for the pre-Nations Cup training camp in Faro, Portugal in 2004, but did not make the final squad, making the 2002 Cup of Nations his last major international tournament.[43]

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 28 June 1998 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France  Denmark 1–4 Lost 1998 FIFA World Cup
2. 10 February 2000 National Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria  South Africa 2–0 Won 2000 African Cup of Nations
3. 10 February 2000 National Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria  South Africa 2–0 Won 2000 African Cup of Nations
4. 29 July 2001 Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt, Nigeria  Ghana 3–0 Won 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 29 July 2001 Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt, Nigeria  Ghana 3–0 Won 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification


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  8. ^ "Ibrahim Babangida". Voetbal international. http://www.vi.nl/Spelers/Speler/IbrahimBabangida.htm. Retrieved October 12, 2008.  
  9. ^ a b c "Babangida Seals $2m Deal". KickOffNigeria. http://www.thisdayonline.com/archive/2003/03/11/20030311spo04.html. Retrieved October 12, 2008.  
  10. ^ "Tijani Babangida". Eagles Profile. http://old.hki.uni-koeln.de/studium/oldPS/ws0001/obiora/players_profile.html. Retrieved February 21, 2008.  
  11. ^ "Tijani Babangida". 123Football. http://www.123football.com/players/b/tijani-babangida/index.htm. Retrieved February 21, 2008.  
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  40. ^ Evagora, Andreas (February 11, 2000). "Football: Babangida beguiles Bafana boys". The Independent. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20000211/ai_n14288777?tag=content;col1. Retrieved October 9, 2008.  
  41. ^ Asand, Albert (July 30, 2001). "Football: Nigeria win ticket to World Cup". The Independent. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20010730/ai_n14402715?tag=content;col1. Retrieved October 10, 2008.  
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External links

Simple English

Tijani Babangida
Personal information
Full name Tijani Babangida
Date of birth 25 September 1973 (1973-09-25) (age 37)
Place of birth    Kaduna, Nigeria
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
Niger Tornadoes
→VVV Venlo (loan)
→Gençlerbirliği (loan)
→Vitesse (loan)
→Al-Ittihad Jeddah (loan)
Changchun Yatai
National team
1994-2002 Nigeria

Tijani Babangida (born 25 September 1973) is a former Nigerian football player. He has played for Nigeria national team.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals
1991/92VVV VenloEredivisie63
1992/93Eerste Divisie2816
2000/01GençlerbirliğiSüper Lig122
Saudi ArabiaLeague
2002/03Al-Ittihad JeddahPremier League50
China PRLeague
2003Changchun Yatai94
CountryNetherlands 20366
Turkey 122
Saudi Arabia 50
China PR 298
Total 24976

International career statistics

Nigeria national team



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