Legendary Nigeria Defender Taribo West Recounts How Italian Mafia Forced Him Out of AC Milan

Legendary Nigeria Defender Taribo West Recounts How Italian Mafia Forced Him Out of AC Milan

Isaac Darko
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:03 PM
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  • 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
  • Soon he was offloaded to AC Milan and that was when, 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.

Nigeria, Taribo West, Italian Mafia, AC Milan
Nigeria legend Taribo West has recounted how he was forced to leave Milan because of the mafia in Italy. Credit: @empicssportsphotoagency
Source: Twitter

And 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.

The defender won 42 caps for his country and played for Nigeria at the 1998 World Cup, having won Olympic gold in the United States two years earlier.

Charles Taylor Opens Up on Encounter With Super Eagles Icon Taribo West

Sports Brief earlier reported that one-time Black Stars attacker Charles Taylor has revealed his unpleasant ordeal with ex-Super Eagles defender Taribo West.

Taylor, one of the finest footballers to have graced the Ghana Premier League, was a menace for most defenders during his prime, mesmerizing opponents with his bewitching trickery.

After helping Hearts of Oak conquer the continent and winning the top scorer award in the local top-flight, he was drafted into the Black Stars.

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Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)