Ivory Coast international football player, Yaya Toure who was recently nominated for the 2015 Ballon d’Or award is not impressed with the fact that he is the only African player to make the shortlist. He mentioned that only few African footballers are always recognised for top awards because others lack the hunger for success. Speaking recently with France Football, the 4-time African footballer of the year said
“I admit that I see too many of them acting casually. You’d say that they’re not always very hungry. Not hungry enough, for my taste. They’re not conscious enough of the effort required to get to the very top. Of course it can go quite quickly at the start. Too quickly, without a doubt. But when it comes to climbing the final steps to get to the very top with Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, there’s no longer anyone left.
“They let themselves go too quickly sometimes. They’re in their world. They think they’ve arrived — the most beautiful, the strongest — but they don’t understand that there are other steps to climb to get to the top. Unfortunately a lot of them only see the good side in this job: easy money, girls, nights out, nice cars, nice clothes. They abandon the idea of catching the best too quickly. They don’t always know how to suffer.”
Sharing the Ivorian’s point of view, ex Nigeria international Samson Siasia identified indiscipline as one of the problems of most African players. He added that they are more concerned about fashion trends than improving on their careers.
He told Ultimate FM in Kumasi, Ghana, “It’s a very myopic mind that the African players have. When you reach a certain stage, you have to continue to improve like the Messis and Ronaldos. But the African player doesn’t want to do that.”
“They think they’ve seen and done it all. They come back home with earrings and Balotelli-like hairstyles and not disciplined anymore. They forget they are at a stage where they need to continue to improve.”
He also questioned their attitude towards national team call ups.
“Look at the European and South American players. Right from U-17, Messi has continued to improve. When they’re called they are the first ones to turn up. With African players, you ask them to report on Monday, they report on Wednesday. If your national team made you, then you need to repay your country.”