Former Super Eagles Coach Rates Bundesliga As The Best League In The World
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By Our Correspondent
Former Super Eagles coach and Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Sunday Oliseh has said the Bundesliga as the best league in the world, rating it above the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1,
The 45-year-old enjoyed success playing in the German top-flight after arriving at the European country in 1995, joining Koln and he spent two seasons with the side, featuring in 54 league games.
The defensive midfielder moved to Ajax and then to Juventus before he signed for Dortmund in 2000, where he won the league title and helped his club finish as runners-up in the 2002 Uefa Cup.
Having played in Nigeria, Belgium, Italy and Netherlands, Oliseh feels the German top-flight cannot be rivalled by any league in the world.
“The Bundesliga is the best league in the world; it’s a complete league. It’s a league where you see the offensive and the defensive, mid-play and free-flowing transition football,” Oliseh said.
“It’s the best-organised league in my opinion. What makes the Bundesliga so special is that it’s the only league in the world with a full capacity crowd in the stadium every weekend.
“At Dortmund, you get 83,000 fans and Koln now command 50,000 spectators every fortnight. As a player, there is no need to worry about financial issues. The Bundesliga was a learning curve for me and it helped me polish my coaching career.”
Oliseh started his career from his country in 1989 with Julius Berger of Lagos and spent a season with the side before moving to Europe to join RFC Liege.
After four years with Liege, he teamed up with Reggiana in 1994 and featured in 29 league games during his spell with the Italian side.
The former Super Eagles captain and coach has recalled his journey to stardom, which included several challenges like having to adapt to a new environment and learn new languages.
“Well, I played football like any other kid in Nigeria. And while playing on the streets of Lagos, I was fortunate to be signed by a Nigerian club [Julius Berger], where I played for a short period before I left for Europe,” he continued.
“I joined RC Liege when I was 16 and everything was very different for me. It was my first time outside Nigeria. The weather, culture, language were all different.
“I had to learn the language and what helped me settle in quickly was my ability to learn new languages in countries that I played in and that has helped me vastly now.
“Belgian football is very open, but when I got to Italy, I realised that everything was based on results, either offensively or defensively.
“The players were always eager to keep clean sheets and not to play to the gallery. The Italian league was more compact, solid and more tactical at the time.
“This has nothing to do with what it has evolved to now, but in the 90s, it was just totally result-oriented.”
Since his retirement in January 2006, Oliseh has coached Belgian third division side Verviétois, the Super Eagles and Fortuna Sittard.