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Stephen Sunday

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Sunny before a game with CSKA Sofia in 2014
Personal information
Full name Stephen Obayan Sunday
Date of birth (1988-09-17) 17 September 1988 (age 32)
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 6
Youth career
F.C. Ebedei
2003–2004 Jegede Babes
2004–2005 Poli Ejido
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Poli Ejido 63 (0)
2007–2011 Valencia 10 (0)
2008–2009Osasuna (loan) 4 (0)
2009–2010Betis (loan) 7 (0)
2011Numancia (loan) 14 (2)
2011–2013 Numancia 62 (2)
2013 Bnei Sakhnin 2 (0)
2014–2015 CSKA Sofia 36 (0)
2015–2016 Alanyaspor 12 (0)
2016–2018 Real Salt Lake 59 (1)
2016–2017Real Monarchs (loan) 3 (0)
2019– Pafos 5 (0)
National team
2007 Spain U19 5 (0)
2007 Spain U20 4 (0)
2009 Spain U21 1 (0)
2010– Nigeria 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 July 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 October 2010

Stephen Obayan Sunday (born 17 September 1988), nicknamed Sunny, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Cypriot club Pafos.

Club career

Early years

Born in Lagos, Sunny began his career in Nigeria with Ebedei and Jegede Babes. In 2003, he participated in two youth championships in Sweden and Spain: in the latter he appeared in Madrid's third edition of the Annual Immigrants World Cup, where he impressed so much he was given a five-year-contract with Polideportivo Ejido, in the second division.[1]


Sunny became a regular player for the Andalusia team, making 65 competitive appearances during his two-year spell and signing for Valencia in the summer, but after one season where he was scarcely used, he was loaned to fellow La Liga club Osasuna.[2] In late January 2009, he was linked with a move to England's Portsmouth, but the deal eventually collapsed due to financial complications.[3]

On 30 June 2009, after a season which was marred by injury,[4] Sunny was loaned to Betis for one year with a view to a permanent four-year move.[5][6] He also appeared rarely during the second level campaign, as the Verdiblancos failed to return to the top division (seven matches out of 42).

In July 2010, Sunny had a trial in England with newly promoted Premier League side Blackpool, playing in a pre-season friendly against Crewe Alexandra on 27 July[7] and four days later against Bristol City, but nothing came of it.


Sunny spent the first months of the new season training on his own, having been deemed surplus to requirements by Valencia manager Unai Emery.[8] On 19 January 2011 he was again loaned, moving to Numancia from the second level.[9]

In the following two years, still in that tier and already as a permanent signing,[10] Sunny was first-choice for the Sorians.[11][12] On 11 May 2011 he scored his first goal as a senior, netting the 2–1 winner away against Albacete.[13]

Bnei Sakhnin / CSKA Sofia

On 30 July 2013, Sunny signed a two-year contract with Israeli club Bnei Sakhnin.[14] On 3 January of the following year, he moved teams and countries again, joining Bulgaria's CSKA Sofia after penning a two-and-a-half-year deal.[15]

Real Salt Lake

After starting out the season in Turkey with Alanyaspor, Sunny joined Real Salt Lake on 21 January 2016.[16] He scored his first Major League Soccer goal on 12 March, helping to a 2–1 home defeat of Seattle Sounders.[17]

Sunny was released following the 2018 campaign.[18]


In July 2019, Sunny signed for Cypriot First Division club Pafos.[19]

International career

Sunday (middle) playing at the 2007 U-20 World Cup against Uruguay.
Sunday (middle) playing at the 2007 U-20 World Cup against Uruguay.

Sunday, who was born in Nigeria, was eligible to play for Spain under FIFA rules allowing players with dual nationality and without full international caps to switch allegiance before the age of 21. After first appearing for the under-19 side, he was called up by his adopted nation to the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada,[20][21] playing in four games as the team exited in the quarter-finals.[22]

In September 2010, Sunny was called up for Nigeria's 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Guinea,[23] and made his debut in the game as a starter as the Super Eagles lost 0–1.




  1. ^ Okeleji, Oluwashina (20 March 2007). "Stephen's Latin love". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
  2. ^ "El Valencia cede a Sunny al Osasuna por una temporada" [Valencia loan Sunny to Osasuna for one season]. El País (in Spanish). 27 June 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Sunny no-go for Pompey". Sky Sports. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Sunny: "En Osasuna jugué poco, pero fue por sufrir varias lesiones"" [Sunny: "I played little at Osasuna, but it was because I suffered several injuries"] (in Spanish). Navarra Sport. 14 July 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Sunny jugará cedido en el Betis con opción de compra" [Sunny will play on loan to Betis with an option to buy]. Marca (in Spanish). 30 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  6. ^ Iglesias, José (15 July 2009). "Sunny, cuarto refuerzo verdiblanco, se suma a la causa del ascenso y de la unión" [Sunny, fourth green-and-white addition, joins promotion and unity cause]. ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Valencia star joins Blackpool for trial". Blackpool Gazette. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  8. ^ Ballesta, Joaquín (20 July 2010). "Viana y Sunny, primeros descartes" [Viana and Sunny, first ones discarded]. Las Provincias (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  9. ^ "El Numancia se refuerza con los cedidos Ion Vélez y Sunny" [Numancia bolster with loaned Ion Vélez and Sunny]. Marca (in Spanish). 19 January 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  10. ^ Escarabajano, José Luis (14 July 2011). "Mercado: Sunny se desvincula del Valencia y el Numancia le ficha como agente libre" [Market: Sunny cuts ties with Valencia and Numancia sign him as a free agent] (in Spanish). Goal. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  11. ^ Garteizgoxeascoa Gil, Aimara (21 January 2012). "Sunny, titular para la 'vendetta' de Alcorcón" [Sunny, starter for Alcorcón 'vendetta']. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Breve enciclopedia numantina" [Brief numantina encyclopedia]. Desde Soria (in Spanish). 29 May 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  13. ^ "1–2. El Albacete desciende tras caer ante el Numancia" [1–2. Albacete relegated after falling to Numancia]. ABC (in Spanish). 11 May 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  14. ^ Presenting: the 2013/14 Israeli Premier League; Maccabi Tel Aviv, 19 August 2013
  15. ^ "Съни вече е футболист на ЦСКА, подписа за 2,5 години" [Sunny is now a CSKA player, he signed for 2,5 years] (in Bulgarian). 3 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Real Salt Lake signs Nigerian MF Sunday Stephen Obayan". Real Salt Lake. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Post-match quotes: Real Salt Lake 2, Seattle Sounders 1". The Seattle Times. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Sunday 'Sunny' Stephen says he is parting ways with Real Salt Lake". The Salt Lake Tribune. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Sunny welcome". Pafos FC. 6 July 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Sunny, el centrocampista español que llegó de África" [Sunny, the Spanish midfielder who came from Africa] (in Spanish). FIFA. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  21. ^ Furlone, Aquiles (30 June 2007). "Empieza la sucesión de Messi" [Messi's succession begins]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  22. ^ "2007, Mundial sub'20 (y III): Una dura caída" [2007, Under-20 World Cup (and III): A hard fall] (in Spanish). Recuerdos de Nigeria. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  23. ^ Taye Taiwo gets Nigeria recall, Danny Shittu dropped; Kickoff, 29 September 2010
  24. ^ "El Valencia respira en Irún" [Valencia take a breather in Irún]. Marca (in Spanish). 19 December 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  25. ^ "El Valencia se agarra a la Copa gracias a Joaquín" [Valencia hold on to Cup thanks to Joaquín]. Marca (in Spanish). 9 January 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  26. ^ "El Valencia vuelve a ganar y se medirá al Atlético en cuartos" [Valencia win again and will take on Atlético in last eight]. Marca (in Spanish). 17 January 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
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Stephen Sunday
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