When talking about professional Nigerian footballers, there are quite a few you would mention that have been able to make their mark both for club and country and one of such footballers is Leon Balogun, who tops as one of Nigeria’s talented footballers.
In this article, we will be discussing the biography of Leon Balogun, his career and statistics.
Who is Leon Balogun?
Every Nigerian football lover should know or have heard of this top defender. Born June 28, 1988, in Berlin Germany, Leon Aderemi Balogun is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Brighton & Hove Albion.
The footballer is also of German descent as he was born to a Nigerian-Yoruba father, Mr Cesar Balogun and a German mother, Mrs Orfa Balogun. However, he is unable to speak the language of his father as he was trained in the German culture.
Balogun was raised in the Roman Catholic faith and began his early education in a Catholic school. However, he later became an Atheist citing his strict upbringing as the reason for his dwindling faith in God.
The footballer is as of today, a devout Christian after he went back to his roots during the hardship of his early footballing career.
Is Leon Balogun Married?
Many of his female fans have often wondered who Leon Balogun is dating or married to? Well, the footballer is unmarried and little is known about his private life although there have been several reports that he has a German girlfriend with whom he is hoping to tie the knot.
So, there it is, there is no such thing as a “Leon Balogun wife”! at least not yet.
Leon Balogun Sister
Miriam Balogun is Leon’s biological sister and a huge fan of the Super Eagles’ defender. She comes around to watch games played by Nigeria and cheer Leon up.
Leon has revealed how his sister took him to reconnect with Nigeria and ended up representing the Super Eagles instead of Germany his country of birth. Miriam is indeed a great sister.
Leon Balogun Net Worth and Salary
With a market value of $2.33 million in the football world, one would expect Leon Balogun to have a huge net worth attached to it.
Well, the talented footballer is worth about $2 million as of 2018 as a result of earnings from his club and endorsement deals from Sportswear giant Adidas.
Balogun still has several endorsement deals but the amount he earns from such endorsement deals has remained unknown till date.
After his move from FSV Mainz 05 to Brighton & Hove Albion; the footballer started earning about $29,000 per week which places his current annual salary at about $1.5 million.
In 2018, he became the first African player in the English Premier League to join Juan Mata’s Common Goal campaign which involves players donating at least 1% of their wages to football-related charities.
Leon Balogun Football Career
Balogun’s senior professional football career began in 2009 after he was signed by the Bundesliga club Hannover 96.
He made his debut for the club on 19 April 2009 in a game against Hamburger SV.
He was later signed by 2. Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf and moved to fellow 2. Bundesliga side Darmstadt 98 in 2014 where he played for the club for the 2014-15 season.
In 2018, Balogun was signed by Premier League side, Brighton & Hove Albion from Bundesliga side Mainz 05 II where he spent the 2017-18 season. He was signed on a free transfer from the club.
Balogun made his debut for Brighten & Hove Albion in a match against Manchester United in which the game ended in a 3-2 victory for the Sussex club.
He was an early substitute in the game and paramount to the success of the match.
He was able to get his first goal some months later in a game against Crystal Palace. He came on as a substitute replacing Pascal Grob and netted a goal just 25 seconds later.
He has made 8 appearances and scored 1 goal for the club ever since he signed a two-year deal with the club on 22 May 2018.
Lon Balogun International Career
Due to his Nigerian roots, Balogun is eligible for play in the Nigerian Football Team and he has proven it over and over again that he is of the quality needed to move the Nigerian Football Team through tough games and competitions.
He came on as a substitute in a friendly game against Mexico in March 2014.
His time on the field was however cut short as he was injured in a collision just 20 minutes after being subbed to replace Joseph Yobo.
His injury (although not quite serious) signalled a halt in his international career and he was not called up in Nigeria’s final squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Balogun has made several appearances for his country after his recovery from the injury.
He was called up to play in a 1-0 loss against Uganda in 2015 and a 2-0 win over Chad in the 2017 African Nations Cup qualifying match.
These appearances marked the second and third time he played for his country.
He was also named in the final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Balogun’s youth career ended in 2007 and he spent much of his youth career playing for Bundesliga side Hertha BSC and NOFV-Oberliga Northside Hertha Zehlendorf.
Balogun’s senior career began in 2007 and he spent most of it playing for German clubs in the Bundesliga league.
Below is a list of all the clubs he played for in his senior career till date.
|Türkiyemspor Berlin 29||(2007–2008)|
|Hannover 96 II||(2008– 2010)|
|Werder Bremen II||(2010–2012)|
|Fortuna Düsseldorf II||(2012–2014)|
|Mainz 05 II||(2017)|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||(2018 – Present)|
Leon Balogun Appearances and Goals
International Appearances and Goals
Leon has made 23 appearances and scored 0 goals for Nigeria in international tournaments. Most of his appearances were in the 2018 FIFA World Cup where he made 8 appearances for his country.
The tournament was believed to be one of Nigeria’s best, where they took on tough contenders for the title.
They were, however, unable to make it to the knockout stage after coming in third place just under Argentina and Croatia.
He has been playing for the Nigerian Football Team since 2014, making only 1 appurtenance in that year when he came on as a substitute replacing Joseph Yobo in a friendly game against Mexico.
He made 5 appearances in 2015, 3 appearances in 216 and 6 appearances in 2017.
Club Appearances and Goals
Balogun has made 216 appearances and scored 12 goals in several tournaments for the clubs he played for during his senior career.
Most of his appearances were for Bundesliga side Mainz 05 where he made 52 appearances and scored 1 goal. He also made 39 appearances and scored 4 goals for 3. Liga side Werder Bremen.
Since the inception of his career, Balogun has played for several clubs including a number of German football clubs and in the English Premier League.
The number of leagues and clubs he played for are as follows:
|Regionalliga Nord||Hannover 96 II||2008 - 2010|
|Budesliga||Hannover 96||2008 - 2010|
|Werder Bremen II||3. Liga||2010 - 2012|
|Werder Bremem||Bundesliga||2010 - 2012|
|Fortuna Dusseldorf II||Regionalliga West||2012 - 2014|
|Fortuna Dusseldorf||Bundesliga||2012 - 2014|
|Darmstadt 98||2. Bundesliga||2014 - 2015|
|Mainz 05 II||3. Liga||2016 - 2017|
|Mainz 05||Bundesliga||2015 - 2018|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||Premier League||2018 – Present|
SEE ALSO: Lowest paid coach in 2018 FIFA World Cup
At age 30, Leon Balogun is believed to be at the peak of his career, however, it is unsure whether or not he will be called up to represent his country in future tournaments.
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