LifeBogger presents the Full Story of an Everton Football Genius best known by the Nickname; ‘Big 17’.
Our version of Alex Iwobi’s Biography Facts, including his Childhood Story, brings to you a full account of notable events from his childhood time to date.
The analysis of the Nigerian Football Star involves his life story before fame, family life and many OFF and ON-Pitch little-known facts about him.
Yes, everyone knows about his intense mentality, loyalty to Frank Lampard and ball-carrying abilities. But few consider Alex Iwobi’s Biography Story, which is quite interesting. Now, without further ado, let us begin.
Alex Iwobi Childhood Story – Early Years:
For Biography starters, Alexander Chuka “Alex” Iwobi was born on the 3rd day of May 1996 in Lagos, Nigeria to Mr and Mrs Chuba Iwobi.
At age 2, his family moved to Turkey to join his mother’s relation, who is former Nigerian player Austin Jay-Jay Okocha.
At that time, Okocha was playing at Fenabache. In 2002, when he was 4, Iwobi was taken to London by his family after his uncle moved there to play with Bolton Wanderers.
He was raised fully in an east London estate close to Bolton Wanderers.
In England, he started off playing football with his friends on nearby pitches close to his estate.
Alex Iwobi Biography Facts – Career Start:
Iwobi signed for Arsenal while still at primary school at the tender age of eight. His signature at the club was influenced by Austin Jay-Jay Okocha.
He developed a life where he multi-tasked between playing football and studying. His youth career time at Arsenal came at a time when the club was at the peak of English football.
Alex Iwobi was a happy child at Arsenal until the unfortunate happened. [Read Below].
Alex Iwobi Biography – When the Going Gets Tough:
Things didn’t go well at his early start as he was close to being released by the club when he was in his early teens.
His mum wasn’t proud of the performance of her son as they sent her a threatening letter of release. This shocked the family.
Alex Iwobi’s reading a letter from Arsenal threatening to release her son
According to Iwobi, “Because I wasn’t as big, fast or strong as everyone else, there were question marks on me and my ability that I wasn’t imposing myself on the game as I should.
It was upsetting because I was also struggling at school, I was always thinking..‘What can I do to improve?’
I would have extra sessions with my dad or friends. My mum even made me do kick-ups in the living room. My sister even tried to play football.
Even my mum invited her brother Okocha, and his friend Kanu would come by to have private training sessions with me. Everyone indeed was trying to help me.”
Naturally, they were all proud of how Iwobi turned things around.
Later on, as a youth team player, he got braver on the pitch and learned not to shy away from physical challenges. This was what Nwankwo Kanu and Okocha taught him.
Arsenal was really impressed with him. Iwobi used that platform to express himself and led his youth team to win trophies. Here is the picture of the former Arsenal Lad alongside his best friend, Chuba Akom.
Again, he tried day in day out to build in more end products. “That’s what the big players get recognised for, scoring goals or creating goals,” Iwobi says.
It was the goal he scored against Basel that gave him a confidence boost in the Arsenal team at last. The rest, as they say, is now history.
Alex Iwobi Family Life:
Alex Iwobi comes from a rich family background thanks to their hard work and of course, family ties with Austin Jay Jay Okocha, the ex-Nigerian international.
About Alex Iwobi Dad:
Alex Iwobi’s father, Chuba Iwobi, was a footballer, who abandoned his low-paying amateur football career to studying law in order to care for his family and ensure a long-term future for them.
Today, Iwobi is putting the family name on TV screens across the world with his impressive performances for Arsenal.
Iwobi’s father, Barrister Chuba, is instrumental in his son’s acquaintance with the Nigerian environment and culture.
About Alex Iwobi Mother:
His mother is also Nigerian by origin. She is the sister of Austin Jay-Jay Okocha. Her love for Alex since his childhood is like nothing else in the world.
Indeed, his mother’s heart has been with him right from day one. This is revealed in the picture below.
About Alex Iwobi Sister:
Alex Iwobi is very close to his sister, Marie. Below is a picture of him, his dad and the ever-beautiful sister Marie.
He once went to visit her at university, pulling a hood up so as not to draw any special attention.
“I just want to enjoy the time with my sister,” he says. “We are close, we are always together, having a laugh. I’m always trying to take care of her.”
About Alex Iwobi Uncle:
Alex Iwobi is Jay-Jay Okocha’s nephew and is inspired a lot by the retired Nigerian football maestro, who also helped him gain his spot in the Nigerian National team.
He has got his uncle Jay-Jay [Okocha] to look up to as a mentor. However, he still wants to have his own destiny, just like other players.
In his words, ‘I love being Jay-Jay’s nephew, but I want to establish my own identity, I want people to know me as Alex Iwobi and not Alex Iwobi, Jay-Jay’s nephew’, which obviously shows a lot of ambition.
According to a close friend of Iwobi; “I mean, Jay-Jay has been his mentor, he encourages him, he tells him where to go and how to conduct himself.
In the scheme of things, he still wants to have his own identity, just like any other player, so Alex Iwobi is Alex Iwobi.
And I’m glad he’s beginning to assert himself and become Alex Iwobi. With hard work and dedication, he can only get better, and that is the prayer of every parent.”
Alex Iwobi Clarisse Juliette Love Story:
Iwobi has been in a 4-year relationship with his girlfriend Clarisse Juliette, who is a UK-based model.
The UK-based model once usually gushes about Alex and constantly shares his photos as a sign of showing how much she loves him.
However, things didn’t go well when he celebrated his 21st year birthday. They broke up!!
The former couple deleted each other’s photos from their social media pages. As of the time of writing, they no longer follow each other on Instagram.
Fans noticed this when Alex celebrated his 21st birthday and didn’t get a birthday shout-out from Juliet. She was also noticeably absent at the birthday celebration held in Alex’s parent’s house in London.
Even for times when Clarisse celebrated her birthday, usually on May 2nd, Alex is always known to give her a shout-out. This time, nothing happened.
After her birthday, Juliette shared a video on her Snapchat of her holding some dollar notes with the caption ‘you’ll never get your bitch back’.
She labelled Alex Iwobi ‘a cheater’ due to his alleged infidelity. The one-time big love they have is now all gone.
Alex Iwobi Untold Biography Facts – Speaks Pidgin and Understands Igbo:
Iwobi does not speak the Nigerian Igbo language but understands the language. He also understands the Nigerian Yoruba language. He, however, speaks good Pidgin English and uses it to communicate with his Nigerian friend.
According to his parents, ‘We think it’s a failing on our part because we could have done a bit more to make him understand Igbo.”
Many Nigerians are happy that Iwobi picked up the universal language, which is ‘Pidgin English’ and he has made an effort to talk to his teammates in it.
In the Nigerian national team, you have Igbo people and Yoruba people, but the universal language is Pidgin. His first encounter with Pidgin was when he was invited to join the Nigerian Under-23s national team.
According to his father, “It’s getting better now, and it’s coming to a stage where he understands every word of Pidgin, but then he’s struggling to put his thoughts into pidgin words.
So he has a fair understanding of Pidgin, and by the time he comes progressively into camp, I’m sure he’s going to get better,” Iwobi’s father told Goal.
Alex Iwobi Biography Facts – Love For Nigerian Foods:
He might have grown up in the United Kingdom as a British Citizen but Iwobi loves Nigerian foods, with his best being Eba and Okra soup and stew fish. His father’s words…
Alex Iwobi’s Favorite Food- Okra, Eba and Stew Fish
“He’ll kill me for this, but Alex’s favourite food is Eba (a staple made with cassava flour) and okra soup made by his mum. These days, he eats all kinds of Nigerian food.”
First Coming to Nigeria:
Having spent most of his life in England, he was astounded by the reaction of Nigerians when he first travelled to the country to represent the Super Eagles.
“Everyone appreciates you. You’re almost like a king!” he says. “When I arrived at the airport, I thought, I’ll just have my earphones in, but everyone was like ‘Iwobi! Iwobi!’ Oh gosh. Hi guys! I didn’t know what to expect. It was just mad.
Then I started moving with Kelechi Iheanacho, who is a very thick Naija boy. Where ever we go, we get escorted. Because I’m not used to the Nigerian culture as much as they are, he do help me with it. I can’t really speak the language that well.
They help me with the fans. The fans are very different there. They don’t ask me for autographs, they only ask for boots, jerseys and, of course, monies.
It is pertinent to note that Kelechi Ihenacho is Alex Iwobi’s best friend. He also has a strong relationship with Ahmed Musa and Mikel Obi.
“At my debut, we played in a stadium that holds 30,000, and there was 60,000 – I don’t understand how. People were standing on the floodlights, on the scoreboard.
I was thinking, ‘What? This isn’t even safe!’ But people there will do anything to watch the match. Sometimes in a Premier League game, the fans are a bit quiet, but in Nigeria, you just hear trumpets, everything. The atmosphere is so different compared to England.”
Without a doubt, the international scene has been yet another eye-opener in this young career. Iwobi cannot wait to experience more.
Alex Iwobi Uncle:
Alex Iwobi has always been looking to follow in the footsteps of his uncle and former Nigeria captain Austin Jay-Jay Okocha.
“He’s a legend in African football, and I know I’ll have to work hard so people can speak positively about me as well,” Iwobi said.
“Having him as an uncle helps for inspiration, but I didn’t achieve my status by being someone’s nephew – I earned my path. My target is to get as many call-ups as I can, get as many games as I can and win many trophies with Nigeria.”
Without a doubt, Okocha remains one of the persons who are particularly influential on Iwobi’s career.
According to Iwobi, “We speak every couple of weeks. He does advise me, not just on the pitch but off it too.
Football is a short career, so he always tells me to maintain the lifestyle. He advises me to get businesses and have properties in Nigeria. He always tries to keep me level-headed and to help me plan for the future after football.”
Following in Okocha’s footsteps, Iwobi has chosen to play for Nigeria instead of England.
It is worthy to assert that Iwobi (like Anthony Gordon of Everton) has represented England at the under-16, 17 and 18 levels. He decided to quit the team and serve his father’s land.