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Meet Taiwo Awoniyi: The Inspiring Journey of a Nigerian Football Star

African footballers. Taiwo Awoniyi Biography. Taiwo Micheal Awoniyi, born August 12, 1997, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Nottingham Forest and the Nigeria national team. Here’s all we know about this talented player:


In 2010, Taiwo Micheal Awoniyi was recognized as the Most Valuable Player at a Coca-Cola football competition in London, catching the eye of Seyi Olofinjana, who invited him to join the Imperial Soccer Academy. Following this, Awoniyi signed with English club Liverpool on August 31, 2015. However, he was immediately loaned out to German team FSV Frankfurt.

During his loan spells, Awoniyi had stints with FSV Frankfurt and NEC in Germany, where he experienced consecutive relegations. He then moved to Belgium, playing for Royal Excel Mouscron and Gent on loan from Liverpool.
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In July 2017, Awoniyi joined Royal Excel Mouscron on a season-long loan, making an impactful debut with a goal against KSC Lokeren. He later signed a new deal with Liverpool in July 2018 and was loaned to Gent. However, his loan was cut short, and he returned to Mouscron.

Awoniyi’s loan journey continued as he moved to Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga in August 2019 and then to Union Berlin in September 2020.

In July 2021, Awoniyi joined Union Berlin permanently, and in June 2022, he secured a move to Premier League side Nottingham Forest on a five-year deal, setting a club record transfer fee reportedly around £17 million.

During his time at Nottingham Forest, Awoniyi made significant contributions, scoring crucial goals to maintain the club’s Premier League status. He notably became the first Forest player to score in six consecutive Premier League matches since Stan Collymore in 1995.

International career

Awoniyi played a key role in Nigeria’s youth teams, winning the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and scoring four goals. He also featured in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup after winning the African U-20 Championship.

He made his debut for the Nigeria under-23 team in April 2015, scoring two goals against Zambia to help qualify for the All African Games. Awoniyi was part of Nigeria’s provisional squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2021, he made his senior debut for Nigeria in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and represented the team at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring a goal in a group stage match against Sudan.

Personal life

The striker is happily married to his long-term girlfriend, Taiwo Jesudun. Their wedding ceremony took place at the God’s Grace Foundation Church in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, on 16 June 2018. Prominent guests included Chidera Ezeh, Godwin Saviour, and Awoniyi’s former Nigerian U17 teammates. The couple welcomed their son, Emmanuel, on 16 October 2020.

He is a devout Christian, considering religion as paramount in his life. His strong connection with religion dates back to birth, as he was born in a hospital near his father’s church.
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 Taiwo Awoniyi and his son
Taiwo Awoniyi and his son

Interesting facts about Taiwo Awoniyi

  • Awoniyi has a twin sister named Kehinde, and they were raised together with their siblings in Gbagba, Ilorin.
  • Former Super Eagles midfielder Seyi Olofinjana discovered Taiwo’s talent after witnessing his skills in London. Olofinjana, one of the founders of the Imperial Soccer Academy, helped the promising striker join the academy.
  • The Union Berlin forward has represented Nigeria at various levels, from the youth to the senior national team. Before joining the Super Eagles, he featured for Nigeria’s U-17, U-20, and U-23 teams.
  • Awoniyi moved away from his family at 13 to pursue his football career at the soccer academy. However, he faced strong opposition from his parents, who wanted him to focus on education rather than play football.
  • Taiwo has a distinctive playing style often compared to Nigeria’s legendary striker, Rashidi Yekini, and is considered one of the best Super Eagles strikers.
  • He was named Eagles Tracker’s player of the month for August 2021 after impressing with Union Berlin.