Childhood & Early Life
Ross Barkley was born on December 5, 1993, in Liverpool, Merseyside to Nigerian father Peter Effanga and European mother Diane Barkley. His father is an automobile engineer, while his mother is a homemaker.
He had a strained relationship with his father while growing up and chose to adapt his mother's maiden surname 'Barkley'. Nevertheless, it was his immigrant father who encouraged him to play football and join Everton club at the age of eleven.
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During his early career, Ross Barkley lead the club youth team to a number of victories in major tournaments, including the Echo cup presented by former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.
In the early 2010-11, Ross Barkley was named into Everton's first team as a substitute in a league match. However, before his Premier League debut, he broke his leg in an England under-19 match in October 2010 after colliding with Liverpool's Andre Wisdom. He recovered from injury and joined the first team prior to the start of pre-season training for 2011–12.
In August 2011, Everton manager David Moyes handed him his debut in their first match of the season against Queens Park Rangers, making him the 11th 17-year-old to play for Everton in the Premier League. While the match ended in a 1-0 loss, he was named 'Man of the Match' by Radio City Sport and he went on to sign a four-and-a-half-year contract extension with the club in December 2011.
In 2012, he was sent to Sheffield Wednesday on a one-month loan and debuted for the team in an away defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion on September 14, 2012. After he scored his first goal for the club, his loan was extended and he was later sent on a one-month loan to Leeds United and debuted for the club in a derby match against Barnsley in January 2013.
Joining Everton's first team in the 2013–14 season, he scored his first goal for the club in the opening match against Norwich City, for which he was named 'Man of the Match'. He continued to show exceptional form and earned praise from Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker for his 'Man of the Match' award-winning performances against Arsenal and Swansea City.
He scored his first FA Cup goal in third round match against Queens Park Rangers on January 4, 2014, which Everton won by 4-0. He showed another exceptional performance against Newcastle United in March, coming from his own half to net the opening goal in a 3-0 win.
With a total of 6 goals in 34 Premier League matches by the end of the season, he was among the six players shortlisted for the 'PFA Young Player of the Year' award in April 2014. At Everton's end of year awards, his goal against Manchester City on May 3rd was named goal of the season.
He signed a new four-year contract with Everton on July 29, 2014, but suffered an injury to his medial collateral ligament before the start of the season which kept him out till October. On his return, he assisted in Romelu Lukaku's goal in a 3–0 home league win against Aston Villa and scored his first goal in a 3–1 win against Queens Park Rangers.
During the 2015-16 season, he scored two goals in the two opening games against Watford and Southampton, and went on score one each against Arsenal, Aston Villa and AFC Bournemouth, and two against Newcastle United. He once again scored the opening goal for Everton in the opening match of the 2016-17 season in a 1–1 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur.
In May 2017, it was revealed by Everton manager Ronald Koeman that Ross Barkley was unwilling to extend his contract with Everton despite being offered an extension. He later suffered a long-term hamstring injury which stopped him from appearing in any match for the team during his final season with the club.
He signed a five-and-a-half-year contract with Premier League defending champions Chelsea for a £15 million fee on January 5, 2018. He debuted for the team as a substitute in a 2–1 defeat at Arsenal in the EFL Cup semifinal on January 24, 2018, followed by his Premier League debut in a 3-0 loss to Bournemouth.
Because Ross Barkley had a Nigerian grandfather, he was eligible to represent both England and Nigeria on the international sphere, but chose to represent the country of his birth. At the age of 14, he was called to the England U-16 team in September 2008 and led the team in the 2009 Montaigu Tournament, which they won with a 2-1 victory over Germany.
He scored two goals to help the England U-17 team win the 2010 UEFA European Championship, following which he was called to the U-21 team in August 2011. Two years later, he earned his senior cap coming as a substitute in a World Cup qualifier match against Moldova and was named in the England squad for the World Cup Finals in Brazil.
He made his World Cup debut in a defeat to Italy and made his first start in England's final group match against Costa Rica. He scored his first senior goal against San Marino in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match in September 2015.