After a failed attempt at reviving his career with Turkish team, Denizlispor, Ogenyi Onazi joined Danish Superliga with SonderjyskE in a desperate effort to resuscitate his career, but it was not meant to be as the 2013 AFCON winner ended his stay at the Sydbank Park during the week after just six months. The big question begging for answer is whether the Nigerian midfielder would ever play at the top level
His attempt at reviving his career in Turkey after Super Lig side, Trabzonspor deemed him surplus to requirement did not go as planned as he was condemned to just nine starts.
In a desperate effort at reviving his career which has been plagued by injury, the Nigerian midfielder took his football trade to the Danish Superliga after injury struggles in Turkey.
The Super Eagles midfielder’s injury nightmare started with a ruptured Achilles tendon back in December 2018, which ruled him out of action for almost a year.
He found it difficult to break into Trabzonspor’s first-team after the injury, and he left the Turkish Super Lig club to join their rivals Denizlispor on a short-term contract in January.
Onazi’s hopes of securing regular playing time with the Roosters were dashed when he suffered a groin strain and hamstring injury which limited him to just nine league matches last season.
“Injuries are inevitable because it’s something that happens a lot in football, but it’s not been fair to me,” Onazi said.
“At the most important time in my career is when it happens to me and I have no proper explanation for this.
“Coming from where it all started I believe I’ve seen the worst that life has to offer on and off the pitch.
“I am more hungry and determined to do extra well. I’ve lost a lot of grounds, but it can only be better from here on.
“We had other offers from different places but the main reason I chose Denmark is because I haven’t played in a while.
“I decided to go to a place where I can have proper fitness, get regular game time and test myself mentally.
“It was not the best option financially but it’s the most challenging and it provides a tough physical challenge. The training is physical like the German league.
“It’s a short-term plan but I am prepared to take it one week at a time and after this we can look at something bigger.”
Before signing a year contract with SonderjyskE which comes with an option to extend the deal with two further years, the former Lazio star confirmed he was close to completing a return to Serie A but Crotone withdrew their deal.
His dream of reviving his career in Denmark did not however go as planned as
the Nigerian international has ended his stay with the Sydbank Park outfit after only six months with the club.
Onazi terminated his contract with Danish Super Liga side SonderjyskE by mutual agreement.
The 28-year-old teamed up with the Sydbank Park outfit in October last year with an option to extend the deal by two more years.
The midfielder joined SonderjyskE in an effort to regain match fitness after rupturing his Achilles tendon during his time with Turkish Super Lig club Trabzonspor.
The injury forced him out of football action for more than a year and when he returned, he left the club to join rivals Denizlispor in January on a six-month deal before signing for SonderjyskE.
Since teaming up with the Sydbank Park outfit, Onazi has struggled for game time and only managed to feature three times for the club.
He has now ended his stay with the Danish side and the club’s sports director Hans Jorgen Haysen has praised him for his contribution.
“There is not a finger to put on Onazi’s efforts in SonderjyskE. He has been a professional to the tips of his toes,” Haysen told the club website.
”He has fitted in well with the group with his dedication and he has also scooped out his experience to the young players on the team.
“He came with a backlog from an injury, but he has been in almost all training sessions with us, and also earned a starting place in the Sydbank Cup and a few innings in the 3F Super League.
“However, it did not turn out quite as he and we had hoped, and he himself has expressed that he might fit better into another league than the 3F Superliga, and he now has the opportunity to try it out.
“We thank him for his efforts in the light blue jersey and wish him all the best for the future.”
Onazi began playing football in the streets of Jos in 1998. His football skills and abilities drew a lot of attention to him and afforded him the opportunity to play in some academies in the city.
His footballing abilities came to prominence when he moved to Lagos to play for My People.
As a 16-year-old, Onazi represented his country at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where Nigeria finished runners-up. However, he was overlooked for selection at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup two years later, despite participating in the training camps in Portugal and Panama.
He made his debut for the senior national team in an Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Liberia.
Onazi was called up to Nigeria’s 23-man squad for the 2013 AFCON, where he played in every game. He was also named in Nigeria’s final squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and started in all four games as Nigeria were eliminated by France in the Round of 16.