Fourteen months after his last competitive game, Taye Taiwo has expressed his eagerness to return to action. The former Nigeria international has remained without a club since ending his contract by mutual consent with Turkish club, Bursaspor. “I know I can still play for another top club and that’s why I’ve been training hard to stay fit,” the 30-yearold told BBC Sport.
“There are good possibilities in Italy, France and Netherlands so we’ll see.” Taiwo’s biggest success came during a six-year stint with French side Marseille, his first European club, which he joined in March 2005. He won the French Ligue 1 title in 2010, back-to-back French League Cup in 2010 and 2011 as well as the 2010 French Super Cup.
He made over 200 appearances for the club, scoring 21 goals before joining Italian giants AC Milan in 2011, but struggled to establish himself in Italy and then spent six months on loan at QPR in 2012 before the move to Bursaspor.
Taiwo, who made his debut for Nigeria in 2004 and played at the 2006, 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, won 59 caps for Nigeria, the last of which came in a 0-0 Nations Cup qualifier with Rwanda in February 2012. The left-back says playing club football is his main goal rather than playing for the Super Eagles again.
“Even when I was playing regularly in Ukraine and Turkey I never got a chance with Nigeria,” he said. “In football you have to arrange your priorities and my immediate target is to get back to club football. “As a Nigerian I remain a big fan of my country and that will never change.”
Taiwo featured in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, where he was voted the third best player at the tournament in the Netherlands behind Lionel Messi and compatriot John Mikel Obi. He also played for the Super Eagles at the 2010 Fifa World Cup tournament in South Africa.