All you need to know about Stanley Nwabali, the talented Nigerian goalkeeper

All you need to know about Stanley Nwabali, the talented Nigerian goalkeeper

Kevin Omuya
updated at February 11, 2024 at 11:04 AM
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The rise of Stanley Nwabali from the shadows to the spotlight has enchanted football fans in Nigeria. It is a football fairy tale that Nwabali has risen as the first-choice goalkeeper for Nigeria in the current Africa Cup of Nations. Thanks to Nwabali's most recent heroics, the Super Eagles secured their spot in the AFCON 2023 final after he saved two penalties in the semi-final match against South Africa.

The Nigerian goalkeeper
Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali. Photo: @nwabali32 (modified by author)
Source: Original

Stanley's ascent has been spectacular since he began working with Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro. Peseiro included Nwabali on his provisional squad for the AFCON 2023 as a wildcard after scouts noticed his incredible talent last year.

Profile summary



Full name

Stanley Bobo Nwabali



Date of birth

June 10, 1996

Place of birth

River State, Nigeria


27 years old as of 2024






1.96m (6'5")


82kg (180.7lbs)

Marital status







Professional goalkeeper

Current team

Chippa United

Social media

Instagram, X(Twitter)

Who is Stanley Nwabali?

Stanley is a professional goalkeeper from Nigeria. He gained attention after being named Nigeria's starting goalkeeper for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Nwabali's career, better known by his nickname "Bobo," began in the second division of Nigeria with Go Round FC, where he was an integral part of the team's promotion to the first division.

Stanley Nwabali's brief bio

Nigerian national football's team's goalkeeper
Top-5 facts about Stanley Nwabali. Photo: Issouf Sanogo/Getty Images (modified by author).
Source: Original

Stanley was born in Rivers State into an Egbema family in the Okwuzi Community and grew up in Port Harcourt. Born on June 10, 1996, he is 27 years old at the time of writing. His listed height is 1.96m, and he weighs 82kg.

Stanley Nwabali origin

Ogba-Egbema-NdoniImo is Nwabali's hometown in Imo State. The southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria is home to Imo State, bordered to the north by Anambra State, to the west and south by Rivers State, and the east by Abia State. The state's eastern border is formed by the Omo River, which is the inspiration for its name.

Obio/Akpor lies to the north, Ikwerre to the east, Asari-Toru to the south, Bayelsa State to the southwest, and Port Harcourt to the west. These local government areas form its borders in the south-central part of Imo state, where he was born and raised.

Stanley Nwabali's AFCON debut

Stanley Nwabali saving penalty from South Africa
Nigeria's goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali tries to catch the ball during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 semi-final football match against South Africa on February 7, 2024. Photo: Issouf Sanogo
Source: Getty Images

For the entire AFCON 2023 tournament, the 27-year-old goalkeeper has been superb for DSTV Premiership club Chippa United. Nevertheless, his heroic display in the semi-final match against South Africa solidified his position as a national hero.

Stanley played with steely composure as he saved two pivotal penalty kicks in a nail-biting shootout against South Africa's imposing team. He received tremendous praise and admiration for his heroic actions, which helped Nigeria advance to the final. Thanks to his crucial role in leading the Super Eagles to victory, Nwabali is now the centre of attention as his number of social media followers skyrockets.

Against South Africa and Equatorial Guinea, Nwabali has allowed just two goals in six matches played. Thanks to his valiant efforts, the Super Eagles are back in contention for the tournament they won in 2013.

Club Career

Stanley Nwabali penalty saves
Nwabali during the AFCON 2023. Photo: @nwabali32 (modified by author)
Source: UGC

When Stanley joined Go Round FC in 2019, he began to showcase his outstanding goalkeeping skills and embarked on his professional journey. Enyimba International, one of Nigeria's most famous football clubs, immediately noticed his talent.

By 2020, Nwabali had established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Nigerian football and moved on to Enyimba. Nwabali, now playing for Chippa United of the Premier Soccer League, never ceases to amaze with his incredible shot-stopping skills and intimidating presence in goal.

International career

The coveted spot in the national team, the Super Eagles, was earned by Stanley due to his exceptional talent, which extends beyond Nigeria's borders. Playing in a friendly match against Mexico in Los Angeles, USA, was his international debut, which speaks volumes about his rising stardom in the football world.

The Super Eagles broadly advanced to the final of the AFCON 2023 tournament due to Nwabali's efforts on the continental level. He was beloved by football fans all over the country after his heroic performance in the semi-final match against South Africa, which ended in a penalty shootout victory and earned him the prestigious Man of the Match award.

Did Nwabali start his career as a goalkeeper?

This goalkeeper, now 27 years old, had an unusual start to his youth career—he played striker for Nigerian club Go Round FC. His potential was recognized by coaches who moved him to the goal where he now excels. In a recent interview, he spoke about his belief in getting beyond the goalmouth to help the team and how his footwork is a throwback to his days as a striker.

Stanley Nwabali's transfer

Stanley Nwabali, goalkeeper for the Super Eagles, is a hot commodity after his stellar performances at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Wanted man Stanley Nwabali of Chippa United is rumoured to be interested in a transfer to Kaizer Chiefs.

In the Premier Soccer League (PSL), Nwabali is the starting goalkeeper for Chippa United. Mohammed Lawal, Nwabali's agent, recently dropped hints about a significant player transfer.

“There is interest in France and Saudi Arabia. There is no surprise because of his performance during the Afcon tournament in Ivory Coast,” Lawal said as quoted by SNL24.
“I have only seen [Kaizer Chiefs links] in newspapers. I cannot comment on anything regarding local interest, please speak to the chairman of the club.”

Stanley Nwabali's salary

Stanley Nwabali ahead of AFCON games
Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali. Photo: @nwabali32 (modified by authors)
Source: UGC

He earns $10,000 monthly from Chippa United and receives bonuses and endorsements from various brands. He owns a mansion in Port Harcourt and drives a Range Rover Sport.

Social media presence

The Nigerian goalkeeper has active X (Twitter) and Instagram accounts. He has 287k followers on Instagram and over 95k followers on Twitter at the time of writing.

His meteoric rise to internet fame paralleled the awe he inspired in concertgoers across the continent. The goalkeeper became the most followed Nigerian goalkeeper on Instagram, with over 200,000 followers since the start of AFCON 2023.

Final word

Many young Nigerians look up to Stanley Nwabali as an example of a professional football player. In pursuit of his ambitions, he has triumphed over numerous difficulties. In the international arena, he proudly represents Nigeria and Africa.

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Kevin Omuya
Kevin Omuya is a Content Writer with 4 years of experience who joined Sports Brief in 2022. In 2019 he held a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Digital Media from KCA University.