Meet Warri-born Sebastien Ibeagha – Messi’s next opponent

Meet Warri-born Sebastien Ibeagha – Messi’s next opponent
Credit: Icon Sport

In their much-anticipated clash against FC Dallas, Lionel Messi's Inter Miami is set to face off against Warri-born Sebastien Ibeagha's team on Wednesday.

The thrilling victory in the Leagues Cup Round of 32 against Orlando City, courtesy of two stunning goals from Messi and one from Josef Martínez, has propelled Inter Miami to the Round of 16. The fans in Texas are already buzzing with excitement as they envision a showdown against the World Cup-winning Messi.

FC Dallas wasted no time, immediately announcing ticket sale details right after the final whistle, showcasing the tremendous anticipation surrounding this marquee matchup between two formidable teams. Football enthusiasts can't wait to witness the clash of talents, with Warri-born Ibeagha and his teammates determined to test their mettle against the legendary Lionel Messi and his impressive Inter Miami side.

The upcoming match promises to be a thrilling showdown as Sebastien Ibeagha aims to prove his mettle against one of the greatest players the sport has ever seen.

Meet the formidable Warri-born defender, Sebastien Ibeagha, who is set to be Lionel Messi's next opponent in the US.

Sebastien Ibeagha Biography

Sebastien Uchechukwu Ibeagha, born on January 21, 1992, is a professional soccer player known for his defensive prowess. Born in Nigeria, he and his family moved to the United States in 2001, settling in Houston, Texas. This is where Sebastien Ibeagha's love for soccer truly blossomed, leading him on a remarkable journey through youth, college, and professional football.

Personal Information
Full name Sebastien Uchechukwu Ibeagha
Date of birth January 21, 1992
Place of birth Warri, Nigeria
Age 31
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Position(s) Defender

Sebastien Ibeagha Early Life

During his formative years, Sebastien Ibeagha joined the Houston Dynamo academy and quickly demonstrated his immense talent. In 2009, he was honored with the title of Dynamo Academy Player of the Year, and he even had the opportunity to train with the Dynamo's first team during the summer of that year.

After completing high school at Hightower High School in Missouri City, Texas, Sebastien Ibeagha pursued higher education while continuing to hone his skills on the field. He attended Duke University, where he played college football for four years from 2010 to 2013. During his time at Duke, The Nigerian was a dominant presence on the field, making 70 appearances for the Blue Devils, scoring eight goals, and providing three assists.

His exceptional performance earned him accolades, including being named the 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and receiving first-team All-ACC honors twice. Additionally, throughout his college career, he consistently earned recognition from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-South Region teams.

Despite receiving offers from Houston Dynamo for first-team contracts, Ibeagha decided to prioritize his education and seek opportunities to play in Europe, per his father's advice. During his college years, he also gained experience playing for the Premier Development League team Carolina Dynamo.

Sebastien Ibeagha Professional Career

Sebastien Ibeagha in action
Credit: Icon Sport

Sebastien Ibeagha Club Career

Following his successful college stint, Sebastien Ibeagha took a bold step by forgoing a homegrown contract with Houston Dynamo to sign with Danish side AC Horsens in 2014. He immediately made an impact, starting 17 out of 18 games in his debut season with the club. During the 2014-15 season, he had a brief loan spell at FC Fredericia and later joined Icelandic club Fram Reykjavik for their 2015 season.

In January 2016, the player returned to his former youth club, Houston Dynamo, and had loan spells with Rio Grande Valley FC and Rayo OKC. However, it was his move to USL club San Antonio FC in February 2017 that truly highlighted his defensive abilities. Ibeagha played a vital role in helping San Antonio FC finish second in the Western Conference, boasting the second-longest shutout streak in USL history. His remarkable performances earned him the title of 2017 USL Defender of the Year and a spot in the 2017 USL All-League First Team.

Sebastien Ibeagha's exceptional skills and track record caught the attention of Major League Soccer, leading to his signing with New York City FC in February 2018. In his first season with NYCFC, he quickly solidified his place in the team and played an instrumental role in helping them qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive year.

After a successful first season, Sebastien Ibeagha continued to be a dependable defender for NYCFC, contributing to their strong defensive record in the 2019 season. Subsequently, he was acquired by Los Angeles FC in August 2021. He continued to impress with his defensive abilities until his contract with LAFC expired.

On December 5, 2022, FC Dallas secured Sebastien Ibeagha's signature, bringing him back to Texas to join the Major League Soccer club.

Sebastien Ibeagha's journey from a young football enthusiast in Nigeria to a prominent defender in Major League Soccer is a testament to his determination, talent, and dedication to the sport he loves. His journey continues, and fans eagerly anticipate witnessing his defensive prowess and contribution to the beautiful game for years to come.

Sebastien Ibeagha International Career

Internationally, Sebastien Ibeagha represented the United States at the under-20 level, showcasing his talents on the global stage.

Sebastien Ibeagha Personal Life

Off the field, Sebastien Ibeagha's personal life reflects a rich blend of his Nigerian heritage and American upbringing. Family is a central aspect of his life, and he shares a strong bond with his brother, Christian Ibeagha, who is also involved in professional football, playing for the Oklahoma City Energy. Despite the demands of his thriving soccer career, Ibeagha values the connections he shares with his loved ones and finds balance between his personal and professional aspirations.

Sebastien Ibeagha Honors

Sebastien Ibeagha celebrates scoring
Credit: Icon Sport

Throughout his illustrious career, Sebastien Ibeagha has earned numerous honors and accolades, attesting to his exceptional skills and contributions on the field.

During his time at San Antonio FC in 2017, he was recognized as the USL Defender of the Year and earned a spot in the prestigious USL All-League First Team. Additionally, during his college days at Duke University, Ibeagha made a significant impact, earning the title of ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. He was also named to the First Team All-ACC in both 2012 and 2013, and the Second Team All-ACC in 2011.

In recognition of his impressive performances as a freshman, he was selected for the All-ACC Freshman Team in 2010. Ibeagha's accomplishments extended to the national stage, as he received the NSCAA All-American Third Team honor in 2013. His consistency and excellence were recognized with multiple selections to the NSCAA All-South Region teams, including the First Team in 2012 and 2013, Second Team in 2011, and Third Team in 2010.

Furthermore, his journey in the sport began with the Houston Dynamo academy, where he showcased his potential by earning the Dynamo Academy Player of the Year award in 2009.

Most recently, Ibeagha's transition to Major League Soccer proved fruitful as a member of Los Angeles FC. In 2022, he celebrated remarkable team success, securing both the MLS Cup and the Supporters' Shield, which serves as a testament to his role as a crucial part of LAFC's backline and the team's overall success.

Sebastien Ibeagha Market Value

Sebastien Ibeagha current market value is €500K, his highest market value was €600K.

  • Ranked number 11.672 among all players worldwide
  • Ranked number 494 among all players of the MLS
  • Ranked number 17 among all players at Dallas
  • Ranked number 211 among all players from United States
  • Ranked number 2.014 among all players playing as “Centre-Back”
  • Ranked number 654 among all players born 1992.

Sebastien Ibeagha Net Worth

Sebastien Ibeagha Networth
Sebastien Ibeagha Networth 2023 545 Thousand USD
Sebastien Ibeagha Networth 2022 491 Thousand USD
Sebastien Ibeagha Networth 2021 436 Thousand USD
Sebastien Ibeagha Networth 2020 382 Thousand USD
Sebastien Ibeagha Networth 2019 327 Thousand USD

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. She grew up in a footballing environment, supporting both Bayern Munich and Wydad Athletic Club. She began her English journalism career by hosting a podcast for the first English radio station in Morocco. Currently, the Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBall Live readers.