Former Nigeria international Efetobore Sodje says he has no regret not playing in the premier league – despite playing in England for 18 seasons.
Sodje expressed satisfaction with what he has achieved in the game and believes it was just not his destiny to play in the Premier League.
“We all have our different path in life,” said the defender, who in 2013/14 season returned to Macclesfield, the club that gave him his first break in the 1997/98 season.”
”I am a fulfilled man as far as my football career went. I scored a lot of firsts in my career. I was the first black player to play for Macclesfield Town in the Football League (old Division 3) and the first man to score the club’s first goal in the Football League.”
Sodje (scored Macclesfield’s first goal in their 2-1 win against Torquay in their 1997/98 season opener.
“I was also the first black man from Crewe Alexandria to play in the FIFA World Cup. I played for 10 clubs and had eight promotions,” Sodje continued.
Sodje was named Bury FC’s assistant captain in 2008 after signing for the club as a player coach and said he was thrilled to captain the club for which he turned out 194 times.
“I achieved almost everything a footballer could hope to achieve in his career.I captained a football club in England and above all achieved the lifelong dream of all footballers which is to play in the FIFA World Cup. As a Nigerian I also had the honour of playing in Africa’s biggest competition,the Africa Cup of Nations.What more do I want? There Nigerians players in the premier league who didn’t play at the World Cup and /or Nations Cup. So,why would I feel any pain that I didn’t play in the premier league?”.
Sodje was however quick to add that he would have loved to play in the Premier League but insists he is not pained that it didn’t happen. Any footballer in the world will sacrifice playing in the Premier League for an appearance at the FIFA World Cup.
”Get me right, I would have loved to play there but I don’t regret not playing there – because I achieved my ultimate aim playing in the lower leagues in England – making over 600 appearances and scoring about 40 goals. I doubt if there was and is a Nigerian defender in England that scored the number of goals I scored.”