Rabiu Afolabi Plans Europe Stay After Sochaux Exit

The free agent believes he still has at least three more years to give in top-flight European football...

Nigeria international defender, Rabiu Afolabi, has told Goal.com that he is studying several propositions that will see him play in Europe in the coming season after his contract ran out at French club Sochaux this summer.

Afolabi spent four seasons at Sochaux, during which he averaged 30 games a season. He said it was a decent experience but had he studied all the aspects of his deal with Sochaux beforehand, he would most probably not have gone to the club.

"It was tough going at Sochuax because we were always battling against relegation. This was not easy. The club sold several players only two weeks after I arrived and the coach (Guy Lacombe) also left about that time, but they still did not get capable replacements," he told Goal.com

"In hindsight, if I had known they were such a club, I would have gone to a more ambitious club."

He informed Goal.com that his next destination would be better thought through.

"I believe that I have established myself in Europe. Even before Sochaux, I was at Austria Vienna and also played over 60 games for the two seasons I was there. Add that to the record I set at Sochaux and you will agree with me that I have established myself fully in Europe," he told Goal.com

"Defenders tend to have longer careers than say strikers; and at 29, I believe I still have at least three years of football at the top-flight in Europe.

"I have received offers from Spain, Germany and Turkey. I will in the next few days study these offers and together with my family decide on the next big step for my career."

Afolabi revealed that during the winter transfer window he came very close to teaming up with Aston Villa in the English Premier League until Sochaux placed an "outrageous" transfer fee on his head of 1.5 million Euros for a six-month loan deal.

"I put a lot of pressure on Sochaux to let me go but they refused because they wanted me to stay back and help them fight against relegation," he said.

Despite being out of the national team frame since the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana last year, a transfer to England would have been possible for him as he also holds a Belgian passport, which he acquired when he starred for Standard Liege.

Samm Audu, Goal.com