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Joseph Yobo

Last Updated: 27/05/10 9:24pm

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The defender is now reaching the veteran stage but brings a huge amount of Premier League experience with Everton to this World Cup.

After a youth career in his homeland with Michellin Port-Harcourt, the 6ft 2in stopper moved to Standard Liege in Belgium in 1998.

While with Liege, Yobo made his international debut for Nigeria Under-20s in 1999 before graduating to the national side as a right-back two years later.

In 2001 he moved to Marseille and spent two seasons in the south of France but played just 24 games and even spent a spell on loan at Everton before his contract expired.

He impressed new Everton manager David Moyes so much that the Toffees acquired his services and has proved to be a tremendous signing, becoming an integral part of the Blues defence ever since.

He has racked up nearly 200 games at Goodison Park and played in two World Cups, setting up Nigeria's only goal at the 2002 tournament and later captaining his country after their disappointing 2006 qualifying campaign.

He has had a chequered season suffering a hamstring injury early in the season and only getting fit for the African Cup of Nations in January.

But he recovered his place in the heart of the Everton defence in the climax to the season and even found time to get married.

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