Most Africans relax after a big money move – Babangida

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Tijani Babangida UCL Ajax 1997
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The former Ajax and Nigeria star discloses why many African players fail to live up to expectation after making big-money moves to big teams

Former Nigeria and Ajax winger Tijani Babangida has blamed poverty for African footballers who often fail to justify big-money moves.

Over the years, many of the continent’s top talents have been snapped up by European sides for large transfer fees.

But they fail to justify the massive investment on them as they don’t reignite the spark that attracted their employers in the first place.

According to Babangida, this happens often because most Africans come from deprived backgrounds.

“I think it’s all about mentality. When most African players make a big-money move, they become relaxed and contented,” he told Goal.

“You can see the way [Cristiano] Ronaldo is pushing even at that age, if he as an African, he would have stopped playing a long time ago.

“Football should be played to break records and to set legacies which count after retirement. It shouldn’t be about the money alone.

“Africans don’t have this kind of orientation because we play for money and with little of it [money], we feel that we have arrived.

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“Until most players who grew up in Europe and have everything, that is not the case here as most of our talents are from poor backgrounds.

“So, the moment one gets signed up for a huge amount, attention shifts and motivation dies. That is very unfortunate.”

While Babangida has described why certain African players don't reach greater heights, it's not true for all players from the continent, many of whom continued to work harder in Europe.

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