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The retired Nigeria defender is very critical of his time at AC Milan, claiming he was not chosen despite being better than his Italian counterparts

Former AC Milan defender Taribo West believes he was better than club legend Paolo Maldini, but was treated unfairly by the Italian side.

In one season with the Serie A outfit, the former Nigeria international appeared in just four games, despite his self-proclaimed status as the club's best defender.

West remains bitter about his time at San Siro and has suggested that his short spell with the Rossoneri was a failure because of Maldini's "godfather" status.

"There were three of us, but the coach would pick the Italians even though I was clearly the best," he told Supersport.com.

"In 2000, I played the African Nations Cup with Nigeria and when I returned Maldini was injured. I played the games in his place but I did not get very many.

"I was told clearly that nobody could force out Maldini because he was a godfather in the club."

West was forced to take a seat on the bench while watching Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta start regularly, which the former Inter defender claims was because of their Italian backgrounds.

"Because I had a good relationship with [Inter president Massimo Moratti], I called him to tell him what was going on," he continued. "He told me that at AC Milan this was a normal thing.

"No one could take the place of Maldini. I was in shock. At the time they told so many lies about me because they wanted me out.

"During the four games I played, I was always the best player on the field, yet my contract was not renewed."

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