By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
Former Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo, said he chose Everton over an option to join Juventus after meeting with then manager David Moyes.
Yobo said this in an article published on Everton’s website.According to the Super Eagles assistant coach he thought he would only make Everton as a stepping stone after featuring at the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Korea and Japan where he assisted Nigeria’s only goal scored by Julius Aghahowa in the 2-1 loss to Sweden.
He added that settling down at Everton was the easiest he had in a club after joining initially on loan from Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille.
‘I felt at home straight away and it was by far the quickest I ever settled at a club.’The funny thing is, I had a lot of options after the 2002 World Cup with Nigeria and didn’t originally consider Everton. I expected to join Juventus.
‘My agent said we should meet with David Moyes. Even then, my first thought was maybe Everton could be a perfect stepping stone to a Champions League club.’I grew up in Africa, remember, so didn’t have a full appreciation of the scale of the club,’ Yobo said.
‘When I walked around Goodison with the gaffer, my feelings instantly started to change.
‘I knew this was going to be good and, on the spot, made the decision I was going to stay.
‘It was like meeting your wife and realising this is the person you want to spend your life with.
‘It was love at first sight.’
He also described leaving first on loan to Fenerbahce in 2010 before a permanent move two years later as a terrible moment.
‘I was with Everton for eight years and would have stayed longer if I was playing more regularly. It was easy leaving other clubs but saying goodbye to Everton was sad, a terrible moment for me.
‘It was painful but I was driven by me being me and needing to play. My heart stayed at Goodison Park. You have to feel it, to be able to talk about it,’ Yobo added.