Blaise Nkufo

Isetsima Blaise Nkufo (born 25 May 1975) is a Swiss former international footballer who played as a striker.

Blaise Nkufo
BlaiseNkufo.jpg
Nkufo playing for Switzerland in 2007
Personal information
Full name Isetsima Blaise Nkufo[1]
Date of birth (1975-05-25) 25 May 1975 (age 45)
Place of birth Kinshasa, Zaire
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position(s) Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1994 Lausanne 2 (0)
1994–1995 Echallens 16 (9)
1995–1996 Al-Arabi 12 (6)
1996–1997 Yverdon 35 (12)
1997–1998 Lausanne 34 (18)
1998–2000 Grasshopper 18 (4)
1999–2000Lugano (loan) 21 (14)
2000–2001 Lucerne 19 (7)
2001–2002 Mainz 05 42 (20)
2002–2003 Hannover 96 9 (0)
2003–2010 Twente 223 (114)
2010 Seattle Sounders FC 11 (5)
Total 442 (209)
National team
2000–2010 Switzerland 34 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He was born in Zaire and raised in Switzerland from the age of seven. Nkufo played professionally in Switzerland, Qatar, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States, scoring 209 goals in 442 career league appearances. Nkufo was also a member of the Swiss national team, having won 34 caps and scored seven goals. He played for them at the 2010 World Cup.

Club careerEdit

Nkufo played for Lausanne Sport, FC Echallens, Al-Arabi, Yverdon-Sport FC, Grasshopper Club Zürich, AC Lugano, FC Lucerne, Mainz 05, Hannover 96, FC Twente and Seattle Sounders FC.[1]

 
Nkufo playing for Seattle Sounders FC.

In early 2010, Nkufo left Twente[2] and was linked to sign with the Major League Soccer team Seattle Sounders FC.[3] On 4 March 2010, the Sounders confirmed that they had signed Nkufo and that he would be joining the Sounders' squad on 13 July 2010 when his contract with Twente expired.[4] In his final season with Twente, Nkufo scored 12 Eredivisie goals helping the club to their first league title in their 45-year history.[5] Nkufo made 223 Eredivisie appearances for Twente, and scored 114 goals - a club record. Twente erected a statue in his honour outside of the stadium following his departure.[6]

His first appearance for the Sounders was on 18 July 2010 during a friendly vs. Celtic.[7] Nkufo was the first Sounders player to record a hat-trick in league play, doing so against the Columbus Crew on 18 September 2010. It ended a scoreless drought of 415 minutes for him after joining the club.[8] On 5 October 2010, Nkufo featured in the final of the U.S. Open Cup as the Sounders defeated the Columbus Crew by a score of 2–1.[9] On 15 March 2011, Seattle and Nkufo agreed mutually to the termination of his deal.[10] Nkufo announced his retirement thirteen days later.[11]

International careerEdit

Nkufo made his international debut for Switzerland in 2000.[1] He was a squad member at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.[12] At the tournament, Nkufo played an influential role in helping the Swiss upset eventual world champions Spain in the group stage.[6][13]

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Switzerland's goal tally first.[14]
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
1. 15 May 2002 Espenmoos, St. Gallen   Canada 1–3 Friendly
2. 11 September 2007 Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt   Japan 3–4 Friendly
3. 6 September 2008 Ramat Gan National Stadium, Tel Aviv   Israel 2–2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier
4. 10 September 2008 Letzigrund, Zurich   Luxembourg 1–2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier
5. 11 October 2008 Kybunpark, St. Gallen   Latvia 2–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier
6. 15 October 2008 Olympic Stadium, Athens   Greece 2–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier
7. 1 April 2009 Stade de Genève, Geneva   Moldova 2–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Kinshasa, Zaire, Nkufo emigrated to Switzerland with his family when he was seven and became naturalised as a Swiss citizen.[15]

Nkufo is married to a woman from Vancouver, British Columbia.[6]

Name confusionEdit

Nkufo has himself said in interviews that his surname is Nkufo. The incorrect version N'Kufo is often found in media. The surname is pronounced Kufo, without the N.[15]

HonoursEdit

Twente

Seattle Sounders FC

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Blaise Nkufo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  2. ^ Dit zijn de levenslessen van Blaise Nkufo, Mister FC Twente vice.com
  3. ^ Mayers, Joshua (14 February 2010). "Swiss international linked to Sounders FC and other notes". Seattle Times. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  4. ^ Mayers, Joshua (5 July 2010). "Blaise Nkufo to join the Sounders FC on July 13 (release)". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Steve McClaren's Twente win Dutch league title". BBC Sport. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "FC Twente Legend Blaise Nkufo Retires". SB Nation. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  7. ^ Mayers, Joshua (18 July 2010). "Sounders FC falls 2-1 to Celtic FC in international friendly". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  8. ^ Mayers, Joshua (18 September 2010). "Blaise Nkufo records a hat trick to lead Sounders FC over Columbus, 4-0". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Nyassi, Sounders top Crew, claim another USOC crown". MLSsoccer.com. 5 October 2010. Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Sounders cut ties with Swiss forward Nkufo". MLSsoccer.com. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Forward Nkufo Retires". SoundersFC.com. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  12. ^ Liew, Jonathan (20 November 2009). "Blaise Nkufo: Switzerland star player at World Cup 2010". The Telegraph.
  13. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (16 June 2010). "Spain 0 Switzerland 1: match report". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  14. ^ "B. Nkufo - National Team". Soccerway. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Von N'Kufo über Nkufo bis Kufo". 20min.ch (in German). 21 August 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  16. ^ "B. Nkufo - Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 14 June 2020.