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Who is Noah Okafor? The AC Milan Super-Sub Taking Serie A by Storm: Salary, Ethnicity, More

Who is Noah Okafor? The AC Milan Super-Sub Taking Serie A by Storm: Salary, Ethnicity, More

This season, Inter Milan appears poised to claim their 20th Scudetto in a seemingly uncontested manner. However, the Italian giants Juventus and AC Milan are not ready to leave any stone unturned in their pursuit of the second-place position. Milan finds themselves just one point adrift of second-placed Juventus, setting the stage for a thrilling battle to watch out for.

However, AC Milan fans were glued to the edge of their seats in their recent encounter against Lazio in the league match at the Stadio Olimpico. Despite the chaotic nature of the game, Milan managed to scrape through with a narrow 1-0 victory against an eight-man Lazio, and they owed much of their success to their wonderkid, Noah Okafor.

Milan stands out as the team that has scored the most goals this season with players coming off the bench, totaling 13 goals within the final two minutes of play. Noah Okafor has notably contributed to this trend in his debut season at AC Milan, making an impact by coming off the bench and scoring the deciding goal against Lazio.

With this goal, two significant points are confirmed: Firstly, with Milan’s 56 points, they are on the verge of securing qualification for the Champions League. Secondly, the investment in Noah Okafor for the club’s future has already begun to pay dividends.

Meet Noah Okafor

Born on the 24th day of May 2000 in Basel, Switzerland, Noah Arinzechukwu Okafor is the child of Nicole Okafor, his mother, and Christian Okafor, his father. Noah possesses a dual nationality owing to his parents.

Okafor’s mother is from a small village of Aesch, in the canton of Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland. However, Okafor’s father, an auto mechanic by profession, belongs to Enugu state in South-Eastern Nigeria. From his Dad’s side, Noah Okafor’s ethnicity is Igbo. He spent his childhood days alongside his older sister, an older brother, and two younger brothers.

Credit goes to Noah’s father for noticing Noah’s predisposition for sports when, at just two years old, he was already able to ride a bicycle without stabilizers.

Growing up, Noah attended kindergarten and primary school in Arisdorf, where he began training with a football. His talent caught the eye of the Arisdorf coach, who was astounded by his abilities and promptly recommended him to participate in trials for FC Basel.

Following a successful trial for the Basel club, Noah enrolled in the under-9s and developed as a player in the youth ranks of FC Basel. In 2009, he moved up through all the stages of their youth academy. In January 2018, Noah Okafor earned a promotion to FC Basel’s first team, which was under the command of Raphael Wicky. Okafor then signed his first professional contract with the club.

As one of the best players, the Swiss forward progressed through all youth departments up to Basel’s Under-21 level. By the end of the 2017/2018 season, he had cemented his place in FC Basel’s first team, playing 54 games for the Swiss club and scoring 7 times along the way. Noah played a crucial role in helping FC Basel win the prestigious Swiss Cup in the 2018/2019 season. His goals and superb dribbling quality made headlines in no time.

National team success followed next for the Swiss rising star. To the joy of Noah Okafor’s family, he received a call from Vladimir Petkovic, inviting him to join Granit Xhaka-led Swiss national team. Representing his country partially fulfilled his career destiny. Although Noah held dual citizenship, he chose to play for the Swiss international team.

“I play for Swiss national team because I [was] born in Switzerland. Some people are arguing why I play for Swiss, why I don’t play for Nigeria. In life, there is always something people want to say, or want different,” revealed the forward.

In international football, Noah has won 19 caps and scored twice for Switzerland. He has played for the Swiss U15 and U17 teams as well as the senior national side, with his team captain playing an influential figure in his career.

“Granit Xhaka is really a good person, good guy,” Okafor says. “On the pitch, off the pitch, he has helped me as a young player.

“I learn from him a lot, like training, mentality and everything, and I think that is so important because he is already a big player, a huge player. When I speak to him sometimes, I just feel good because… The way I’m on now, he did already, so I can learn and profit from him.”

Noah Okafor’s rise caused a storm that FC Basel couldn’t handle. The likes of Manchester clubs – City and United – wanted his signature. Following his dad’s advice, the youngster rejected the move to England.

Instead, on the 31st of January 2020, Noah joined Red Bull Salzburg. Making the move from Basel, he performed at the highest level of the game during his time in Austria, scoring 34 goals and providing 23 assists in 100 games.

Noah Okafor at Red Bull Salzburg

The 1.85m forward has spent 4 years in the Austrian Bundesliga and enjoyed quite a triumphant time there, being crowned Austrian champion four times and winning the Austrian Cup three times before shifting to what has been the pinnacle stage of his journey.

Noah started a new venture in Serie A, having joined the Italian giant, AC Milan last summer. The Swiss striker signed for the Rossoneri club for five seasons, until the 30th of June, 2028, in a reported total transfer value of £13.13million ($16.68 million) to Salzburg.

“Coming through the youth ranks of FC Basel from age eight, I have always known that moving to the next level has its own challenges. Listening to the coach’s instructions and experienced players in the team has made it much easier for me to adapt to this new level,” revealed the ecstatic striker after signing the contract.

“It has been a tough journey but it has been with a lot of new experiences. Playing at this level requires a lot and I have really adapted to the situation so far so good,” he added.

“There’s a great atmosphere here, the team is fantastic and it’s going great with the coach. I signed a bit ago but I’m very happy, I’m really confident for the future.”

According to Capology, Noah Okafor has a contract that entitles him to a gross base salary of £2,190,000 for the 2023-2024 Season, equivalent to £42,127 per week. With his contract set to end on 2028, he is due to receive a total gross salary of nearly £10.1 million from AC Milan for the remaining duration of his contract, excluding any bonuses.

The entire operation has been overlooked by his agent agency, Sports360 GmbH. Sports360 GmbH is a full-service athlete management agency that represents some of Germany’s best soccer players, managers, and trainers. Some of their clients include Toni Kroos, Julian Nagelsmann, and Dominique Jansen.

Upon arrival, one of the first things he did was decide to wear the No. 17 shirt, as was spoiled by Rafael Leao. As a matter of fact, he also donned the jersey number 77 on his debut day. Speaking of his special affiliation for the number ‘7’, he revealed. “7 is my favorite number. In fact at Salzburg I had 77. Here the 7 was taken by Adli, so I chose 17, which is Rafa’s old number. I like it.”.

And by the looks of it, it does seem to work because his spell under Stefano Pioli has been nothing but promising.

Noah Okafor has taken part in a number of the team’s Serie A matches in 2023/2024, making 19 appearances overall and accumulating 510 minutes of playing time. He has been selected in the starting XI in three of these appearances across their 27 fixtures and has predominantly been used off the bench as a substitute on 16 occasions, having scored 5 goals and provided 1 assist in a total of 24 games.

Although predominantly deemed as a center forward, the 23-year-old was also occasionally deployed on the wider flanks. When asked about his preferred playing position, the Swiss athlete responded – “I can play on the left, on the right and as a striker in the center. I am flexible. I have to adapt to a new country, with new tactics and new teams but I’ve already been there before with Salzburg. I try to be open with my teammates and the staff, I’m really happy to be here.”

Noah Okafor FM 24 and EA FC 24 card details

Although the glimpses of talent are evident, the Swiss player ‘Can Polish Skills,’. This is what atleast the scout reports in FM 24 has to say, with the player rated at a decent 78. As per FM 24, the value of the forward is £21M with a weekly wage of £42K.

Similar is his EA FC24 card with a value of £18.4M and a weekly wage of £45K. Noah Okafor is rated 77 in the game with an impressive potential of 84. In the game, Noah has 4 skill moves and 4 weak foot abilities. He is right-footed and his work rates are high/medium.

Next time, if you are short of a winner in the game, you can surely call upon Noah as a super-sub for the win. Well, it looks like Stefano Pioli will look to do the same in his next Serie A game. But with Raphael Leao rumored for an exit door, we might very well be looking at the potential regular winger for the Rossoneri club, and the fans won’t complain for sure.