By Abba Gwale
Former Super Eagles captain and coach, Sunday Oliseh, says his former team, Ajax Amsterdam, denied him a move to the English Premier League twice.
Oliseh, during an interview with newsmen said he had a chance to join two of the best team in the English Premier League in the late 90s but Ajax blocked both moves then.
The former Ajax midfielder won Dutch Eredivisie, Bundesliga, as well as the Africa Cup of Nations and an Olympic gold medal in 1996.
“Unlike now when Ajax sell their best players, back then they were a big football powerhouse in Europe and could decide to hold on to their best players because they were winning titles then as well.
“I was to join United the season Jaap Stam arrived the club from PSV and also Newcastle the following season but Ajax didn’t make that happen,” the former Super Eagles said.
He added that “But there are no regrets at all. I had a wonderful time at Juventus when I arrived in 1999, winning the Intertoto Cup and finishing runners-up in the UEFA Cup same year.”
Oliseh, 46 year-old, who played at German giant, Borrusia Dortmund, further said EPL was not as attractive as the German league and the Italian League at the time.
He said he wanted to join Newcastle United when former Ajax player Ruud Gullit was in charge as the manager of the club but his former team decided against the move.
“In the 90s, the dream of every player was to play in La Liga or the Italian league and that was why you saw players from these leagues move to the EPL towards the twilight of their careers,” he continued.
He however said “Another reason I didn’t go to England was that the league was not the place to be at that time. It was the Italian league and the German league but now it’s the other way. I’m not trying to criticise the league (EPL) I’m just explaining what motivated my move back then.”
Gianluca Vialli, Ruud Gullit, Gianfranco Zola, Carlo Cudicini and Fabrizio Ravanelli were some of the players who moved to the EPL from the Serie A in the late 90s.