It’s not every day a young footballer transforms from a Lagos academy player to a fearsome winger and starts drawing comparisons to Arjen Robben. But that’s exactly what Samuel Chukwueze of Villareal fame did.
Since signing for the Yellow Submarine, Chukwueze has terrified defences with his wicked left foot and uncanny dribbling skill.
He has also impressed for the Super Eagles after earning a call-up following a stellar outing at the U-18 and U-20 levels.
In this article, I explore Chukwueze’s biography, salary, net worth, marital status and other parts of his life.
Let’s get started!
Samuel Chukwueze Biography
Samuel Chukwueze was born on May 22, 1999, in the Umuahia area of Abia State. Chukwueze, who has Igbo roots, grew up in a middle-class family with his parents and siblings; a boy and a girl.
Chukwueze took up football early and was already playing when he was only eight years old. According to him, Nigerian footballing legend Austin “Jay Jay” Okocha was a source of inspiration for him during his childhood years.
He confessed to watching Okocha play on live TV and dreaming of displaying stellar skills just as the great Okocha.
However, achieving this dream proved to be an arduous task for Chukwueze. From the start, his immediate problem was his family’s opposition to his interest in football.
His family wanted to force him to study and disapproved of his constant practice sessions which undermined his academic efforts.
At some point, Chukwueze’s family set fire to the youngster’s playing boots and training kit to drive home their point.
But Chukwueze’s love for football and need to constantly improve won in the end.
Not only did he double down on practice time, he started contacting football academies willing to take him in.
Chukwueze started joining football academies as early as eight years old and was part of the Under-8s and Under-10s at the Future Academy.
He also had a brief spell at New Generation Academy which ended when he joined Diamond Football League.
His time at the Diamond Football League is particularly significant, as this is where he completed his transformation into a skilled winger.
It was DFL that took him abroad to the Portuguese Iber Youth Cup in 2013, where he emerged highest goal scorer and caught the eye of scouts in Europe.
Chukwueze’s big breakthrough came two years later during the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup held in Chile.
He was impressive for the Nigerian U-17 team alongside teammates Kelechi Nwakali and Victor Osimehin.
Chukwueze scored several times and made crucial assists for the Golden Eaglets as they won their fifth U-17 World Cup. He finished as the tournament’s third-highest goalscorer with three goals to his name, winning the Bronze Boot.
With his performances, the 16-year old Chukwueze attracted the interest of big European clubs including Red Bull Salzburg, Villareal, Arsenal, Porto and Paris Saint Germain.
While all expressed interest in having Chukwueze join their youth sides, Villarreal CF was the only club that offered him a good deal.
Coming to Villarreal wasn’t exactly la vida loca for the young starlet — far from it, in fact.
He faced struggles with understanding the Spanish language and had troubles adjusting to the Spanish culture.
As an example, Chukwueze found it difficult to eat Spanish food during his early days in Spain.
But, being the tough kid he is, Chukwueze refused to let challenges deter his dream of playing European club football like his idol JJ Okocha.
He continued to practice hard and impressed his handlers in the Juvenil A squad, Villareal’s youth team.
This led to him making his first start for the Villareal reserves on April 15, 2018, subbing in for Sergio Lozano in an away draw to CE Sabadell FC.
He netted his first senior goal in a Villarreal shirt on May 20, 2018, in a match against Athletic Bilbao. He debuted for Villarreal main team on September 20, 2018 — again, as a substitute. He made more appearances for Villarreal in the 2018/2019 season, quickly gaining fame for his direct dribbling and accurate finishes.
His unique playing style soon earned him comparisons to former Bayern Munich and Netherlands great Arjen Robben.
Chukwueze’s profile continued to rise, and he soon earned a call-up to represent Nigeria’s national team in 2018.
He earned his first cap for the Super Eagles as they drew Uganda 0-0 in a friendly. He made national coach Gernot Rohr’s final squad for the 2019 African Cup of Nations tourney held in Egypt that year.
Although he could have also played in the U-20 World Cup, Villareal asked him to choose that or the AFCON and he chose the latter.
He soon dispelled any doubts that he wasn’t ready for the big stage, grabbing his first international goal in Nigeria’s quarterfinal win over South Africa.
At just 20 years and 49 days, Chukwueze became the youngest scorer at the 2019 AFCON tournament.
He continued to impress in what was his first AFCON tourney as Nigeria achieved a third-place finish.
His good form for the Super Eagles has lasted against all expectations, and he recently contributed a goal during Nigeria’s recent 4-4 draw at home to Sierra Leone.
The 21-year old was on UEFA’s 2019/2020 Top 50 Players to Watch list, where he was described as a “Precocious winger with UEFA Europa League experience; the Nigeria Football Federation’s young player of the year for 2017/18.”
Samuel Chukwueze Playing Style
Just like the famous Arjen Robben, Chukwueze is naturally left-footed, predominantly plays on the right-wing, and is always looking for opportunities to cut inside.
He also possesses exceptional dribbling skills and speed that allows him to beat defenders with ease and score goals.
Opposition defenders often attempt to double-team Chukwueze to stop his movement into the box.
However, Chukwueze’s close control and tricky play often means he can outplay defenders before getting to the box.
Even in spaces, Chukwueze uses his awesome ball control to circumvent pressure and beat the last line of defence.
Despite Chukwueze’s enormous potential, an over-reliance on his left foot and poor passing techniques have limited his efficiency.
If he can spend more time eliminating his weaknesses, I believe he can be one of the best players to come out of Nigeria.
Samuel Chukwueze Salary
Samuel Chukwueze is presently living the life of his dreams and earns more than enough to finance his rich lifestyle.
According to SalarySport, Chukwueze’s contract with Villarreal CF will see him get paid £15,000 per week and £780,000 per annum.
I converted Chukwueze’s salary to naira – something that I wished I didn’t, seeing as he earns more than the average worker would ever earn.
Here’s the breakdown of his salary in Naira:
• Weekly salary (15,000 pounds) translates to ₦7,590,588
• Annual salary (780,000 pounds) translates to ₦394,686,780
Even if he subtracted taxes from his pay, Chukwueze would still have more than enough to take care of his needs.
Maybe I do need to consider switching careers, after all.
Samuel Chukwueze Net Worth
Mr. Chukwueze has not done badly for himself and has seen both his net worth and market value rise over the years.
Presently, Chukwueze is said to be worth around £150,000.
As per Transfermarkt, the market value of the winger stands at €25m or £22.4m.
This may further increase, depending on his performances.
Meanwhile, Villarreal put the forward’s release clause at 100 million euros to discourage suitors.
Samuel Chukwueze House and Cars
There’s little information about Chukwueze’s property, although it’s obvious that he’s not living a pauper’s life.
He has been pictured with a flashy Mazda MX-5 Miata, an affordable sports cage that retails between $25000 and $30000.
In 2019, a picture of Chukwueze posing with a Ferrari worth ₦98 million surfaced online.
This prompted divergent views on whether it was appropriate for a young player to have a car that expensive.
However, the Villareal man came online later to clarify that the car in the picture was not his.
At least, he has shown none of the extravagance common with young players these days.
Samuel Chukwueze Wife
There isn’t much info out there concerning a spouse or a girlfriend linked to Samuel Chukwueze.
Apparently, the player has dedicated most of his time to improving his craft and has no use for a romantic partner now.
Given the drama and controversy that often surrounds players and their partners, I’d say avoiding a relationship is good for Chukwueze.
In particular, it ensures he doesn’t land in the news for the wrong reasons.
Samuel Chukwueze Stats
Samuel Chukwueze has played 89 matches for Villarreal, scoring 13 goals in the process.
He made 20 appearances in total for the Villarreal B side, netting four times.
Based on a combination of Chukwueze’s time with both Villarreal CF’s senior and reserve team, Chukwueze’s statistics for the club are 109 total appearances and 17 goals.
He has also scored three goals in 17 appearances for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Samuel Chukwueze Awards and Achievements
• Winner, 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup
• Bronze Boot Winner, FIFA U-17 World Cup: 2015
• DFA: Most Influential Player of the Year
• MCL Cup: Most Valuable Player