My first €10,000 was from the Marseille President – Taye Taiwo

by Ayotunde Ogala (3 min read)

Super Eagles legend, Taye Taiwo discussed the story of his career and receiving his first 10,000 euros from the Marseille club President.

Speaking on an Instagram Live chat with Eagles Tracker, the 35-year old former Marseille left-back recalled his first time receiving a substantial amount of money, and it was from the Olympique de Marseille club President.

He revealed that he had just completed a successful trial in 2004 with the French team, in France and was supposed to return home to Lagos, Nigeria when he realized that he could not go back to his family with nothing to show for it. Taye was 19 years old at the time.

He met the President and said “As I’m going back, I don’t have money in my pocket, my father and my sisters have nothing. If you can give me something to take back home, I would be very very happy because we are supposed to celebrate Sallah. He [the club President] was also a muslim.”

The club President asked Taye to travel to Paris to meet with someone who would give him some money, but he [Taye] was unsure exactly how he would find said person. The President asked him not to worry, and so Taye returned to Paris. On his way back [to the airport], someone reached out to him and presented him with €10,000 (ten thousand euros) courtesy of the Marseille President.

Taye’s reaction to having such a large amount of money for the first time was just as you would expect. He said: “I was in the plane, I had my bag. When I’m in the toilet, I check my bag and confirm that the money is still there. I didn’t even have a phone to let my family know that I was returning home.”

On landing in Nigeria, Taye first handed €2,000 from the money to an agent, ‘Mr Abu’ who had helped him in the process of securing his international passport, and was also waiting to receive him on his arrival in Lagos.

His entire family was shocked to see Taye when he returned home, wondering why he was back in Nigeria already, rather than staying in France to keep chasing his dreams of professional football. Taye sat the entire family down in their father’s living room and he said to them: “We don’t need to beg anybody before we eat rice. We can eat whatever it is we want to eat now. God has already provided this money for us.”

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Taye Taiwo signed for Marseille aged 20 in 2005 and spent six years at the club, winning the French Ligue 1 in 2009/2010, as well as winning two French League Cup and two French Super cup titles.

He also made 54 appearances for the Super Eagles of Nigeria, scoring 3 goals and winning 2 AFCON bronze medals in 2006 and 2010.

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