Former Super Eagles defender Taribo West has warned young Nigerian players who are desperate to leave the country for greener pastures in Europe to study every detail of contract they are signing.
While speaking at the Footballers Connect, an event aimed at bridging the gap between young footballers, professionals, and ex-internationals, the former Derby County defender said he was a victim of slavery contract during his active day.
Taribo who was part of the Atlanta 96 Olympic winning team for Nigeria revealed he signed with French side Auxerre and Italian Giants Inter Milan without knowing the details of the contract.
“ I played in Auxerre for (almost ) free. I was playing under a contract for five years without knowing the contents and conditions binding the contract,”
“After the third year, Arsenal, Juventus, Glasgow Rangers, Sevilla, and Betis came for me. I went to the coach stating that I wanted to leave but he sat me down, showed me my contract terms with Auxerre.
I saw the details of what I had signed. Where my fellow defenders were earning as high as 120, 000 French Francs, I was going home with 3000 French Francs.
“I wanted to set Auxerre on fire that day. Immediately, I called my manager, who was turning me left and right (while ) enjoying himself in Senegal.
“One day I went to see my coach after training where I met a certain manager who told me that about five clubs were interested in signing me.
On the table, I saw Arsenal, Juventus, Glasgow Rangers, Sevilla, and Inter Milan. He began to make calls and Inter was the destination, I signed the contract papers without knowing its content yet again. ”
Taribo, however, advised young players going to Europe to get an attorney who not will represent them but also explains contractual details the club is offering.
“Most young Africans sign contracts they don’t know about because they are desperate to play in Europe. I didn’t ’ know too. They need to have lawyers; that’s why the big players use their fathers or brothers as their agents these days. I didn’t know all these during my time.”
“The first and second managers I had in Europe were the same. It was when I left my second manager that things got better for me. I don’t want our present generation of young players to fall victim too, ” Taribo added.