Bayelsa Times

Legendary Nigeria defender Taribo West recounts how Italian Mafia forced him out of AC Milan 


Former Nigeria international Taribo West has revealed he decided to end his career in Serie A after the Italian Mafia forced him out of AC Milan Back in the days, the defender had an impressive four-year stint at Auxerre and then signed with Inter Milan.

According to West, he faced problems with Mafia Former Nigeria defender Taribo West has disclosed that he was forced to leave AC Milan because of the mafia in Italy.

West joined the Rossoneri from cross-town rivals Inter in December 1999 after falling out of favour during Marcello Lippi’s time in charge of the Nerazzurri.

But after playing just four games for Milan, the former Auxerre defender was loaned out to then-Premier League club Derby County in November 2000, and never returned to Italy again.

West revealed that Italian mobsters could not accept a player from Africa coming into the Milan to dislodge club legends Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Paolo Maldini from the side.

The Mafia would do anything in their powers to make sure I was done away with at Milan,” he told Score Nigeria.

“They cooked a vicious story in the press that I was injured in the desperate bid to send me out of Milan.

“The doctors were bribed to say I was injured, but it was a lie. They did that because they felt it was unthinkable for an African player to take the place of those three ageing defenders.

“Liverpool came with an offer, but at the end of the day I had to settle for Derby County.”

After his time at Pride Park, West went on to represent Kaiserslautern, Partizan, Al-Arabi, Plymouth and Iranian outfit Pakyan, before hanging up his boots in 2008.

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