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Published On: Mon, Jun 29th, 2015

Taye Taiwo set for return after long absence

LUKMAN OLOGUNRO

After about 14 months of absence, Nigeria defender, Taye Taiwo is keen to return to top-level football. However, the 30-year-old seems to be through with international football declaring that his target is to feature again in club football.
The last game for the former AC Milan player was in April 2014 for Turkey’s Buraspor, but his contract was ended a year later by mutual consent.
“I know I can still play for another top club and that’s why I’ve been training hard to stay fit.
“There are good possibilities in Italy, France and Netherlands so we’ll see, ” he told BBC Sport
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.”
The defender’s biggest success came during a six-year stint with French side Marseille, his first European club which he joined in March 2005.
Taiwo 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 before spending six months on loan at QPR in 2012 from where he joined Buraspor.
He made Super Eagles debut  in 2004 and played at the 2006, 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.
Taiwo won the last of his 59 caps for Nigeria in a 0-0 Nations Cup qualifier with Rwanda in February 2012.
He featured in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands where he was voted the third best player at the tournament behind Lionel Messi and compatriot John Mikel Obi.

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