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Taye Ismaila Taiwo Biography and Profile

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Taye Ismaila Taiwo
Taye Ismaila Taiwo

Taye Ismaila Taiwo (born 16 April 1985) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Kakkonen club SalPa.

Having been a ranks of Gabros International and Lobi Stars, Taiwo moved to France by joining Marseille, where he had a successful spell at the club, winning Ligue 1Coupe de la Ligue and Trophée des Champions.However, after joining Serie A side Milan, Taiwo’s career declined, with Goal.com said: “The left-back unfortunately faded following his promising time in France which turned out to be the highpoint of his career.”

Club career

Olympique de Marseille

Taiwo drinking a water bottle during a match for Marseille in 2005.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Taiwo began his football career at Nigeria Division 1 club Gabros International and Nigeria Premier League side, Lobi Stars.[3][4] On 10 January 2005, at the age of 20, Taiwo moved to France when he was signed by French club, Marseille, signing a three–year contract, with a reported transfer fee costing 200,000 euros.[5][6] Taiwo was brought in to fill the void Bixente Lizarazu had left when he departed for Bayern Munich.[7] It wasn’t until the end of January when Taiwo officially moved to the club.[8]

On 12 March 2005 manager Philippe Troussier called him to the first team and made his debut for Marseille, starting a match and played 61 minutes before being substituted, as the club won 2–1 against RC Lens.[9] After the match, Foot Marseille said about Taiwo’s performance: “For his debut in White, this athletic Nigerian started well with a goal ball for Luyindula and a few good interventions then seemed completely lost on the pitch never knowing how to position himself. His second half confirmed these incredible mistakes. He will hardly be able to do worse but given his age and his physique, he will surely speak of him better, much better.”[10] After sitting for the next six matches due to competitions from fellow left–back players Salomon Olembé and Kōji Nakata, Taiwo went on to start the remaining three matches of the 2004–05 season, as the club went on to finish fifth place in the league.[11] At the end of the 2004–05 season, he went on to make a total of four appearances in all competitions for the side.

2005–06 season

Ahead of the 2005–06 season, Taiwo was linked a move to Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, with a player exchange involving Lee Young-pyo moving to the opposite direction, but Marseille’s president Pape Diouf dismissed the move from happening.[12] The transfer speculation ended when he signed a contract extension with the club, keeping him until 2009.[13] Taiwo started the season well when he established himself in the first team, playing in the left–back position. Taiwo then scored his first goal of the season, in a 3–2 win against BSC Young Boys in the first leg of the UEFA Intertoto Cup‘s Third Round. In the return leg, he set up the winning goal for Samir Nasri, in a 2–1 win to send the club progress to the next round. Taiwo later helped Marseille win the Intertoto Cup after beating Lazio and Deportivo de La Coruña. It wasn’t until on 14 August 2005 when he scored his second goal for the club, in a 1–1 draw against Lyon. Taiwo played in both legs of the UEFA Cup first round against Germinal Beerschot and helped Marseille win 4–1 in the penalty shootout after playing in a 0–0 draw throughout the combined minutes of 210 minutes, in which he successfully converted in the shootout.[20] After serving a one match suspension, Taiwo scored on his return to the starting line–up, in a 1–0 win against Heerenveen on 24 November 2005 to help Marseille qualify for the UEFA Cup knockout stage. After missing the whole January due to his international commitment, he returned to the starting line–up against Toulouse on 12 February 2006 and helped the club keep a clean sheet, in a 1–0 win. Following his return, Taiwo continued to regain his first team place, playing in the left–back position. After serving a one match suspension once again, he scored on his return to the starting line–up in the semi–finals of the Coupe de France against Rennes and helped Marseille keep a clean sheet, in a 3–0 win to reach the Coupe de France Final. Eight days later on 29 April 2006, Taiwo started in the final against Paris Saint-Germain, as the club lost 2–1.[25] At the end of the 2005–06 season, he made fifty appearances and scoring four times in all competitions.

Senior career

Having previously been called up to the Nigeria squad throughout the earliest 2004, Taiwo made his debut for the senior team, starting a match, in a 2–1 loss against South Africa on 17 November 2004.

In January 2006, Taiwo was called up to the Nigeria squad for the African Cup of Nations in Egypt. He started the tournament well by scoring the national side’s first goal of the tournament, in a 1–0 win against Ghana.[ He then helped Nigeria win the next two matches to help the national side go through to the knockout stage. Taiwo played the whole game against Tunisia in the quarter–final, which led to penalty shootout following a 1–1 draw, and successfully converted the penalty, as Nigeria won 6–5 in the shootout. He later helped the national side finish third place in the tournament after beating Senegal 1–0 in the third place play–off.

A year later on 17 June 2007, Taiwo then played an important role for Nigeria when he scored his second national team goal, in a 3–1 win against Niger to qualify for the African Cup of Nations. Taiwo then scored his third Nigeria goal, in a 1–0 win against Switzerland on 19 November 2007. In December 2007, he was called up to the national team squad for the tournament.Taiwo eventually made it to the 23 men squad the following month.[ He started in all four matches in the African Cup of Nations, as Nigeria were eliminated in the quarter–finals following a 2–1 loss against Ghana.

Following the conclusion to the Africa Cup of Nations, Taiwo kept Nigeria six consecutive clean sheets in the World Cup Qualifying Round between 1 June 2008 and 1 September 2008. However, he was sent–off for a second bookable offence, in a 0–0 draw against Jamaica on 11 February 2009. Taiwo later helped Nigeria qualify for the FIFA World Cup after beating Kenya 3–2 on 14 November 2009.

In January 2010, Taiwo made the Nigeria cut when he was called up to the national team squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.Taiwo started the whole game on Matchday 1 Group Stage, in a 3–1 loss against Egypt on 12 January 2010.[ However, he remained on the substitute bench in Nigeria’s next four matches, with Elderson Echiéjilé preferred in the left–back position.[ It wasn’t until on 30 January 2010 when Taiwo returned to the starting line–up against Algeria for the third place play–offs and helped the national team side win 1–0 to earn a bronze medal.

In April 2010, Taiwo were among forty–four players to be shortlisted for the Nigeria squad ahead of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Eventually, he made the cut to be in the World Cup squad after Manager Lars Lagerbäck cut the squad to 23.[ Taiwo made his World Cup debut against Argentina on 12 June 2010 and started a match before suffering an injury in the 74th minute, resulting in him being substituted.[After the match, he quickly recovered from his injury following an operation and returned to the starting line–up against Greece and played 55 minutes before being substituted, as the national team lost 2–1. Following this, Taiwo was once again injured and sidelined for the follow–up against South Korea, resulting in Nigeria’s elimination following a 2–2 draw.

Following the end of the World Cup, Taiwo featured four times in the African Cup of Nations qualification, as Nigeria were eliminated in the qualification round. Between 2004 and 2012, he played 53 games for the national team and scored 5 goals. Having not played for Nigeria since 2012, Manager Stephen Keshi said in 2012 about Taiwo, saying: “I am still working on my list but Taiwo, like other players, is under consideration.”

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