Nigerian former footballer Celestine Hycieth Babayaro who played as a defender or as a midfielder was born August 29, 1978 in Kaduna. He is the brother of Emmanuel Babayaro, a goalkeeper, who was also part of Nigeria’s 1996 Olympics gold medal winning team.
He began his playing career at Nigerian side Plateau United before moving to Belgian club Anderlecht in 1994. Babayaro widely regarded as the best Nigerian full back ever to have lived alongside Taribo West.
Babayaro part of the victorious Nigerian team at the Under-17 World Championships in Japan (1993). He made his international senior debut in the Afro-Asian Championship in 1995, against Uzbekistan. The following year he was part of the Nigeria Olympic gold medal winning team at the Atlanta 96 football event. He scored in the Gold Medal game itself against Argentina. He had a knee injury in December 1997 in the Premier League but recovered just in time to make the France 98 squad. He was also Nigeria’s captain at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, and took part in the Korea/Japan 2002 FIFA World Cup.
He has also played internationally for top football clubs outside Nigeria. In 1997, he was signed by Chelsea after being spotted by scout Lewis Durkin and in January 2005, he left Chelsea to join Newcastle United on an undisclosed fee, where he established himself as first choice left back. On 21 January 2008, Babayaro came to an agreement with the Los Angeles Galaxy to join them on a three-year contract, effective immediately. He later left the club that same season.
READ: Taribo West Biography
While playing outside Nigeria, he won Belgian Young Professional Footballer of the Year (1994–95) and Belgian Young Professional Footballer of the Year (1995–96).
On 8 July 2010, Babayaro officially announced his retirement from football.