The travels of Taribo

Posted by on 6/21/2005 8:41:29 AM
Post Comment The travels of Taribo Nigeria
Had Taribo West joined every club linked with him since the World Cup, he would have completed a tour of Britain faster than a politician at the General Election.
Taribo West receives treatment during Nigeria's game with Sweden 
West was down after the World Cup, but not out

Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City, Dunfermline Athletic, Portsmouth and League of Wales Barry Town have all been on the verge of securing the Nigerian defender, only to see the deal collapse at the last minute.

West's clubs
Sharks Port Harcourt (NIG)
Enugu Rangers (NIG)
Julius Berger (NIG)
Auxerre (FRA)
Inter (ITA)
AC Milan (ITA)
Derby County (ENG)
Kaizerslautern (GER)
Partizan Belgrade (YUG)?
But now West seems to have given on trying for a British club and moved further afield.

According to radio reports in Yugoslavia, West is in the final stages of signing for Partizan Belgrade.

Partizan have recently begun a new quest for success, having appointed former Germany captain Lothar Matthaus as team coach, and West could become the defensive foundation of this revolution.

It would be a new and interesting move for West - whose career has been as colourful as his hair.

Double winner

The Port Harcourt-born defender began his European travels with Auxerre in France, having domestically appeared for Sharks Port Harcourt, Enugu Rangers and Julius Berger.

Taribo West in action in the Uefa Cup final
West's finest European hour - winning the Uefa Cup
West spent four seasons in France, although it was in 1996 that his reputation as potentially one of the world's most talented defenders was established.

After forming a key part of Auxerre's French League and Cup double-winning side, he joined up with the Nigeria team for the Olympics in Atlanta, and promptly won the gold medal.

By 1997, he was on his way to Italy, and one of the world's most famous clubs, Inter.

By the end of his debut season in Serie A, he had starred in the Uefa Cup final as Inter demolished Lazio 3-0.

After three years and 40 appearances, West switched to AC Milan in 2000, but never made an impression and after only four matches he was on loan at English Premiership club Derby County.

Tough time

Although West helped Derby stay up, they decided not to keep him and he moved on to Germany and Kaizerslautern.

It was there that the most turbulent year in his career began.

In February 2002, a woman in Nigeria claiming to be his wife said she had been abused by West.

West responded by saying he had never been married.

But shortly afterwards, he was fired from Kaizerslautern after missing a match claiming he was sick, only to fly to Milan to celebrate his birthday.

Taribo West in his Milan days
A rare sight - West in his Milan shirt
But despite being without a club, he was selected for Nigeria's World Cup squad.

Things went from bad to worse, however, with Super Eagles coach Adegboye Onigbinde blaming West personally for the team's poor showing which saw them eliminated in the first round.

Since then West has been unable to find a team willing to take him - on his terms at least.

Now he finally has a chance in Yugoslavia to prove his qualities and restore his reputation.

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