Former Nigeria international Finidi George has revealed that up until he joined the Super Eagles, he was more of a midfield player rather than a winger, SportingLife.ng reports.
Finidi played most of his senior career as a right-winger but things could have certainly panned out differently for him had he not changed positions when he was called up to the national team.
Considered to be one of Nigeria’s greatest wingers, Finidi who was known for his pace and dribbling skills played
for Calabar Rovers, Iwuanyanwu Nationale, and Sharks before moving to Europe where he featured AFC Ajax, Betis, Mallorca, Ipswich Town, and Mallorca.
Speaking in an interview with a Lagos based radio station, Finidi, who made his debut for Nigeria in 1991, in an
Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burkina Faso, providing three assists for Rashidi Yekini and scoring
once in a 7–1 rout, said he was converted to a winger by former Super Eagles coach, Clemens Westerhof.
“I was a midfielder during my days in Calabar Rovers and Sharks. It was when I got into the Super Eagles and we had too many midfielders and I couldn’t breakthrough. So Westerhof decided to convert me to play on the right side because of my pace, because of my way of thinking and understanding the game. He gave me that opportunity to play on the right side and that was how I started to play in that position. Normally I was not a wing player.”
The 49-year-old, who was likened to David Beckham during his playing days because of his ability to deliver good crosses from the wings, however, said he personally improved himself.
“Nobody (coached me). You have to work on your craft, work on your skills and I think because I was a midfield player, which helped me a lot. When you play in the midfield, you always try to look for others to give that through pass to. I look for the strikers all the time.
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“So when I was converted to play on the right side, my first option, whenever I got the ball, was to look for others. That was how I started looking out for Rashidi Yekini, Daniel Amokachi, and others, trying to feed them with balls and everything just worked out fine. When I knew assist was part of the game, I started doing what I was used to when I was playing in the midfield,” said Finidi, who made 62 appearances, scoring six goals for the national team.