Association football player
22 December 1970, Ibadan, Nigeria
Mutiu Adepoju (born 22 December 1970) is a Nigerian retired footballer who played mostly as an attacking midfielder.
He played most of his career in Spain, amassing La Liga totals of 175 games and 22 goals over the course of seven seasons and mainly representing Racing de Santander and Real Sociedad.
A Nigeria international for 12 years, Adepoju appeared for the country in three World Cups and as many Africa Cup of Nations.
Born in Ibadan, Adepoju (also called by his first name in Spain) left Nigeria in 1989 to join Real Madrid, but never made it past its B-side. His first professional season was impressive as he scored 11 Segunda División goals to help Racing de Santander return to La Liga, and he continued to feature and net regularly for the Cantabrians in the next three years.
Mutiu left for Real Sociedad for 1996–97 but, after a solid first campaign, struggled heavily to hold down a regular place with the Basques. In 2001–02 he represented Saudi Arabia’s Ittihad FC, but quickly returned to Spain where he featured rarely for second level club UD Salamanca.
After two more weak years, in Turkey and Cyprus, Adepoju retired in 2006 in Spain’s lower leagues. He subsequently returned to his first team Shooting Stars FC, as chief administrator.
Adepoju was a member of the Nigeria team that played in the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship. His brace against the United States (which featured Kasey Keller in goal) in the semi-finals ensured a final against Portugal, in a 0–2 defeat.
Adepoju went on to collect 48 caps for the full side, with six goals. He made his debut against Togo in August 1990, but his breakthrough came during the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations, and he helped his nation win the next continental edition.
Adepoju was part of the squads for the FIFA World Cups in 1994, 1998 – where he scored in a 3–2 win against Spain– and 2002, although he did not play in the latter tournament.