For all of the knocks he has received recently for being one of the strangest characters to have ever graced the San Siro dressing room, the former Nigeria international has earned compliments from the unlikeliest of sources
Former Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti admits that ex-Super Eagles defender Taribo West was as crazy as publicized but lauds the former Auxerre star’s strength and heart.
The 74-year-old Moratti became Inter’s chairman in 1995, and West was one of the first players the Italian entrepreneur acquired for the club in those early years in charge.
Signed from Auxerre for 3 million euros, West went on to make 64 appearances in two years for the Nerazzurri, scoring twice and winning the UEFA Cup in 1997.
But more than his undoubted ability to stop opposition attackers, the Nigerian defender was also renowned for his off-field antics, including his colourful hairstyles and his lengthy prayer sessions.
Only recently, two of his former Inter teammates – Ronaldo de Lima and Christian Vieri – relived two experiences to highlight how crazy West was in Milan.
Moratti agrees that West was as strange as footballers come, but he is quick to appreciate the Nigerian’s strength and kind heart.
“I confirm everything, absolutely. He (West) showed up in my office dressed as an African priest,” said Moratti in response to a question by Calcio Mercato as per passioneinter asking if West was as crazy as others say.
“Crazy, but how strong he was on the field. And like all crazy people, he also had a big heart.”