Super Eagles midfielder John Ugochukwu Ogu hails from eastern Nigeria but was born in Lagos State, on April 20, 1988.
Ogu started his youth career with Akwa Starlets, the youth setup of Akwa United. However it was from Flying Sports Academy Ogu will get his breakthrough abroad when he signed for Slovenian side NK Drava Ptuj in 2006. He made a total of 97 appearances and contributed eight goals in four years. After four years in Slovenia, Ogu decided to advance his career and completed a switch to Atlético Clube de Portugal where he spent just six months before leaving for Spanish third division side Almería to complete the season.
Ogu returned to Portugal this time with first division side Leiria but could not help them avoid relegation and decided to continue his career in Portugal with Académica where he spent two seasons making 27 appearances.
After four years in Portugal, Ogu moved to Israel and signed for Hapoel Beer Sheva in 2014 where he found consistency and became a fan’s favourite, making a total of 140 appearances and contributing a 13 goals in his five years whilst also winning the Israeli Premier League on three occasions and the Israel Super Cup twice.
Unlike most Nigerian prospects, Ogu did not feature for either the Golden Eaglets or Flying Eagles at youth level. Despite not featuring at age grade level, he is one of the senior players in the Super Eagles set up, earning his first call up to the national team for a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kenya where he made his debut.
His big break came when he was selected by Stephen Keshi for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup but he narrowly missed out on the final team to the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil.
With the Super Eagles failing to qualify for two consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, Ogu’s involvement with the national team declined especially after the appointment of German tactician Gernot Rohr. He was however selected for the 2018 FIFA World Cup held in Russia but did not start in any of the group games.
Over the past five years, Ogu has made a total of 23 appearances for the Super Eagles contributing just two goals.
John Ogu is a versatile left-footed midfielder that can be deployed in several positions in the middle of the park. For the most of his career, Ogu has been utilized as a central midfielder due to his aggressiveness when in control of the ball. Ogu’s passing ability has also earned him advanced attacking roles on several occasions while he also possesses ball-winning ability to operate in a defensive role.