Stanley Nwabali: Things you need to know about Nigeria’s heroic goalkeeper

Stanley Nwabali at AFCON 2023 with Nigeria's Super Eagles. (Photo Credit: Modo Victor)

Stanley Nwabali: Things you need to know about Nigeria’s heroic goalkeeper

Kolawole Babatunde 14:37 - 08.02.2024

Stanley Nwabali's journey from the sidelines to the limelight has captivated the hearts of Nigerian football enthusiasts. Emerging as Nigeria's first-choice goalkeeper in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, Nwabali's ascent is nothing short of a football fairy tale.

Stanley Nwabali's sudden rise under the guidance of Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has been meteoric. Initially scouted last year for his remarkable skills, Nwabali was a wildcard entry into Peseiro's provisional squad for AFCON 2023

Nwabali quickly became a pillar for the Super Eagles, showcasing his mettle in critical matches against Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast. His calm demeanor and command over the aerial threats did not go unnoticed, earning him the trust of Peseiro and the admiration of fans, eventually leading him to usurp Francis Uzoho as the team's primary goalkeeper.

Nwabali's defining moment came during the nail-biting penalty shootout against South Africa. With two crucial saves, he not only secured Nigeria's place in the AFCON final but also earned the Man of the Match award, a testament to his undeniable impact and heroics on the field.

Who is Stanley Nwabali?

Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali is the GOAT of this AFCON || Imago

Nwabali is a professional Nigerian goalkeeper who has recently risen to prominence within the football community, especially after becoming Nigeria's first-choice goalkeeper during the Africa Cup of Nations 2023. 

Nicknamed "Bobo," Nwabali began his professional journey with Go Round FC in Nigeria's second division, helping them achieve promotion to the top tier. This impressive performance attracted Enyimba, two-time CAF Champions League winners, who signed him the following season. He further solidified his skills by winning the NPFL with Enyimba before seeking new challenges.

Nwabali continued his Nigerian league odyssey with stints at Wikki Tourists and Lobi Stars, showcasing his talent at each club. In March 2022, he embarked on a new adventure, joining Chippa United in South Africa. Following a wait, he made his debut in December 2022, saving a crucial penalty in a draw. By August 2023, Nwabali had earned the starting goalkeeper position at Chippa United, demonstrating his unwavering determination and skill.

Stanley Nwabali age

Born on June 10, 1996, Nwabali is 27-years-old at the time of writing this. 

Which club does Stanley Nwabali play for?

Stanley Nwabali on duty for Chippa United in the PSL
Stanley Nwabali on duty for Chippa United in the PSL. (Photo Credit: Nwabali/X)

Nwabali currently plies his trade with Chippa United in South Africa. He joined the PSL club in 2022 and has since become the first choice for the club based in Port Elizabeth. 

Where is Stanley Nwabali from?

Nwabali is from Nigeria, as both of his parents are from the country. 

Stanley Nwabali is from which state?

Originally from Imo State, the 27-year-old was born in Rivers State into an Igbo Christian family, and he grew up in Port Harcourt.

Stanley Nwabali home town

Nwabali’s home town is Ogba–Egbema–NdoniImo in Imo State. 

Imo State is a state in the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, bordered to the north by Anambra State, Rivers State to the west and south, and Abia State to the east. It takes its name from the Imo River, which flows along the state's eastern border.

His home town, Ogba–Egbema–NdoniImo is located in the south-central part of Imo state, and it is bordered by the following local government areas: Obio/Akpor to the north, Ikwerre to the east, Asari-Toru to the south, Bayelsa State to the southwest, and Port Harcourt to the west.

When did Stanley Nwabali make his debut for Nigeria?

Stanley Nwabali during the penalty shootout against South Africa

Stanley Nwabali's journey to the Super Eagles was not a straightforward one. He made his  national team debut in September 2021 against Mexico, which ended in a disappointing 4-0 loss, and he did not receive another call-up for over two years. 

However, Nwabali did not lose hope. His impressive performances for his South African club caught the eye of coach Jose Peseiro, who personally travelled to witness Nwabali in action. This dedication paid off, as Nwabali was surprisingly called up for the 2023 AFCON squad, marking a remarkable comeback for the determined goalkeeper.

Did Nwabali start his career as a goalkeeper?

This 27-year-old goalkeeper surprisingly began his youth career as a striker at Go Round FC in Nigeria. His coaches saw potential and shifted him to the goal, where he now thrives. In a recent interview, he credited his footwork to his striker days and discussed his belief in pushing beyond the goalmouth to aid the team.

Is Nwabali on social media?

Stanley Nwabali is the most followed Nigerian goalkeeper on Instagram | Credit: Instagram

Yes, he is on social media. The Nigerian goalkeeper has active X (Twitter) and Instagram accounts. 

His username is @nwabali32 on Instagram, where he currently has 287k followers at the time of writing this. As reported by Pulse Sports, the goalkeeper gained over 200,000 followers on Instagram since the start of AFCON 2023 to become the No. 1 most-followed Nigerian goalkeeper.

On X (Twitter), his account is @NwabaliBobo, with over 95k followers at the time of writing this.

Get ₦2,000 Free Bet cash. Bet with ₦500 on & Get ₦2,000 Cash Immediately (T&C Applies). Click to get the free ₦2,000