John Utaka (2013 )
- 2.1 club
- 2.2 national team
- 2.3 Awards
Utaka began in 1996 in his home in Enugu Rangers his professional career. There it held him for only one year before the Egyptian Arab Contractors club secured the services of striker. The Cotractors he became a regular player and shot regularly gates. For the 2000/01 season it attracted the League rival Ismaily SC. In this attacker played an outstanding season, scoring 17 goals in 21 games. Nevertheless, he decided after two years to a renewed change of club. Utaka signed for Al -Sadd in Qatar, before he moved to the 2002 /03 to France. When RC Lens to Utaka secured immediately secured a regular place. Along with Antoine Sibierski and Daniel Moreira, he formed one of the most dangerous Angreifreihen Ligue 1, the trio achieved together in 38 games 29 goals. With eight goals Utaka was the third best scorer of his team. In the following year made it to the Nigerians not return to his pre-season performances to come. It was not until 2004/ 05 convinced Utaka again with gates and was best scorer of his team. Since Lens would give its performers ever again, Utaka decided in the summer of 2005, also for a change. Then he signed with league rival Stade Rennes. There he stood at the beginning of the shadow of Alexander Frei. Only after the injury, the attacker moved into the starting lineup and thank it his coach László Bölöni with gates. It is worth noting his hat-trick in the 4-1 win on Matchday 28 against his former employer RC Lens, and his three hits on the slave game against Olympique Lyon .. Because of these six goals within a week he was honored by the sports magazine L' Équipe as a player of the month.
In July 2007, it undertook the English first division side FC Portsmouth. Utaka signed a four -year contract. On his debut in the Premier League on 11 August 2007, he succeeded against Derby County his first goal for the new team. His opening goal but was equalized shortly after the 2-2 draw. At the end of the game 2008 Utaka won with Portsmouth FA Cup. In 2010 he went with this club from from the Premier League. In the same year he was again in the FA Cup final; in the final but they lost 0-1 against Chelsea.
After more than three years in the Premier League and a half year in the second division, he moved in January 2011 for 500,000 euros transfer fee back to France; Utaka signed for Montpellier HSC. The contract runs until 2013.
Utakas contract was not renewed and changed free transfer to Turkey to Sivasspor.
Utaka was in the squad of the Nigerian national team at the African Cup of Nations 2004, 2006 and 2008. During the Championship in 2004, he missed no game and reached with his team to third place. 2006, the profit of the second bronze medal, he came in five of six games to use. In 2008, he completed three of the four possible games.
In 2002 he was nominated for the squad for the World Cup. There disappointed the team and brought in the three group matches only one point. Utaka was established by the then coach Adegboye Onigbinde only in the second game against Sweden. It remained Utakas far only appearance at a World Cup finals.
In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he was no longer in the squad of his country.
- FA Cup: winner 2008; finalist 2010
- 3rd place in the Africa Cup: 2004, 2006
- Ligue 1 Player of the Month: February 2006