Nottingham Forest have completed their first summer signing with the arrival of Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi for a club record fee.
Awoniyi is a Nigerian soccer star of the Yoruba tribe, a fact that is made obvious by his name. Both his parents are Yoruba and that simply makes him a pure-blood Yoruba man.
Here are 10 things you may or may not know about the Nigerian international…
Taiwo Awoniyi was born on the 12th of August 1997 in Kwara State. He was born in the city of Ilorin to be precise, to retired police officer Solomon Awoniyi and his wife.
Love for God
A young Taiwo grew up in Ilorin in a closed knit Christian family. This is why he acknowledged God during the signing of his Nottingham Forest contract papers.
Education in Ilorin
He completed his basic education in Ilorin, including the compulsory 6 years in a secondary school (Government Day Secondary School GDSS Aiport, Ilorin).
Developed by Unicorn Soccer Academy
As a Nigerian who loved the round leather game, Awoniyi first horned his skills at United Soccer Academy now Unicorn Soccer Academy.
Further development at Imperial Academy
Ex international Seyi Olofinjana – the founder of the Imperial Soccer Academy, decided to give Awoniyi the chance to play football.
Seyi, along with Atiba Bankole, travelled over 200 kilometres to watch a 13-year-old Awoniyi in action, and their journey was made worthwhile when he produced an impressive display, enough so to earn himself a place in the academy.
Over a year ago, Awoniyi revealed that he was studying a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration alongside his goalscoring exploits for Union Berlin.
The striker also has a Diploma in Business Administration and Marketing Management.
U17 WORLD CUP WINNER
Back in 2013, Awoniyi helped Nigeria lift the U17 FIFA World Cup.
Taiwo scored two goals against Uruguay in the quarter-finals and was a key player in a side which beat Mexico to lift the trophy.
Awoniyi was named in the provisional 35-man squad for Nigerian’s participation in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
After finishing top of Group B, Nigeria beat Denmark in the quarter finals before suffering a 2-0 defeat to Germany in the semi-finals. They did, however, beat Honduras 3-2 to win a bronze medal.
In April 2015, Awoniyi marked his Nigeria U23s debut with a brace against Zambia.
The 2-1 win ensured that Nigeria would qualify for the 2015 All African Games.
The gangling striker was selected by Gernot Rohr in late 2021 to represent Nigeria at the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, making his debut in their 1-0 loss to the Central African Republic.
Awoniyi was selected to represent Nigeria at the AFCON 2021 where he led the line for Nigeria throughout the tournament. His only goal during the tournament came in the 3-1 group stage win against Sudan.