Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughDo you remember...? Taribo West (Video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Do you remember...? Taribo West (Video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Do you remember…? Taribo West (Video)

If you don’t remember the name then you will almost certainly remember the hair! The colourful Nigerian has recently been in the news with reports that he lied about his age during his career and that he is actually 12 years older than he claimed. Whether this is true or not, he was certainly not trying to remain inconspicuous with the assortment of multi-coloured hairstyles he showed off during his career, although he wasn’t a bad player, at times…

After a successful four year stint in France with Auxerre, where West won the Ligue 1 championship as well as two French cups, he was signed by Italian giants Inter. They saw past his tactical limitations and generally poor positioning on the pitch and admired his physical qualities and ability to unsettle opposition strikers. Surprisingly he became a first choice defender for the club and played 23 league games in his first season. Unfortunately he was unable to crown a debut season with a Serie A medal, due to the infamous match against Juventus when the referee failed to award Ronaldo a blatant penalty, although the Nerazzurri did go on to claim a 3-0 win against Lazio in the UEFA cup final. West started the final at Parc des Princes but did not finish it, as he was sent off in the 82nd minute. Unfortunately this was one of the risks with the Nigerian defender; despite seeming to play with an assured authority for moments of a game, he could then suddenly charge towards an opponent and commit a terrible foul, as evidenced in the video clip of his wild lunge at Andrei Kanchelskis! Often, these moments were completely unnecessary and led to the nickname of ‘Wild West’ with commentators.

It was ultimately this unpredictability that saw him leave Inter and his career tailed off dramatically after leaving the blue and black of the San Siro to join the red and black of Milan in 1999. At Milan he was not a first choice centre back and only played four games for the club. After a very disappointing and frustrating time there he moved to Derby County, but the writing was already on the wall for a player who was capped 41 times for his country, appearing at both the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. 

Several transfers later, including a mildly successful spell at Partizan Belgrade, the colourful haired West then seemed to drift out of the game despite apparently signing with several clubs. Four years, four clubs and only four appearances does not make good reading for the final chapter of his career, and surely only he knows how he managed to sign for Al Arabi of Qatar and Paykan of Iran without ever stepping onto the pitch for either.

Wild, wacky and certainly not your average defender. Taribo West was an interesting and entertaining player that brought some colour, and a smile, wherever he played.

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