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Nigerian Legend Reveals Toughest LaLiga Opponent

Nigerian Legend Reveals Toughest LaLiga Opponent

by Kamogelo Motecwane

May 13, 2022 06:27 PM

Tags: Mutiu Adepoju Geremi Samuel Eto'o Yaya Toure LaLiga Racing Santander Real Sociedad Spain Finidi George Hugo Sanchez Manuel Sanchis

With the LaLiga season nearing its end and the league preparing to select its inaugural African MVP award winner, Soccer Laduma spoke with former Super Eagles and Real Sociedad striker Mutiu Adepoju to get his thoughts on the award's frontrunners and his time in the Spanish top flight.

Click through the gallery above to see some of the greatest Africans to have played in LaLiga!

Fresh off the U20 FIFA World Cup in Saudi Arabia in 1989, a 19-year-old Adepoju made his way to Spain for the first time to sign for Real Madrid. With the senior team littered with footballing legends such as Hugo Sanchez, Fernando Hierro and Emilio Butragueno, though, the Nigerian only managed to play for Real Madrid Castilla and never featured in the first side.

Irrespective of this, Adepoju managed to carve out a respectable career for himself in the Spanish top flight, finding the back of net for the likes of Racing Santander and Real Sociedad on his way to becoming one of the league's greatest African players.

Speaking exclusively to Soccer Laduma ahead of the conclusion of the 2021/22 LaLiga campaign, the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner, now an ambassador for LaLiga, revealed who his toughest challenge was while plying his trade in the Iberian Peninsula.

"I played against so many players, so many defenders. Let me just say when I was in Real Sociedad and playing for Racing Santander, I played against Real Madrid many times, who I loved to show what they were missing," he said.

"I played against [Fernando] Hierro and Manuel Sanchis, and those are very tough defenders from that era. I mean one would not go past them many times.

"There are so many tough defenders which I cannot remember now but I think those are the ones I can remember right now."

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Soccer Laduma also asked the former striker which of the legendary Africans who have played in Spain's top division he thinks would have won the African MVP award had it been around back then.

"Looking at the history of LaLiga and the many players that have gone through LaLiga, we have so many great players like Noureddine Naybet from Morocco, [Samuel] Eto'o, myself, Finidi [George] and other great players that have played in LaLiga," he answered.

"From what I've seen, I think Samuel Eto'o would've won it several times cause, he was a great player for Barcelona. He won so many laureates, so many championships, Champions Leagues, LaLiga and all that.

"He would have been a worthy winner of the African MVP had it existed then."

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