P.M. News (Lagos)

28 June 1999

Africa: Why I Signed For Bari - Chukwu Ndukwe

Lagos — Nigerian international and erstwhile Sundowns striker, Raphael Chukwu Ndukwe has stated that he appended his signature for Bari, ahead of other teams like Duisburg Copenhagen, and Sturm Granz because he believes the Italian League which is regarded as one of the best in the world, will enhance his chances of consolidating his position at the national team.

Ndukwe who breezed into the country last Thursday, explained that he ought to have chosen Austrian League champions Sturm Granz which, aside from parading Nigerian international Ajibade Babalade and Abiodun Baruwa, are also playing in the revered European Champions League next season.

The erstwhile Udoji striker told P.M. Sport that Sturm Granz, Copenhangen, Bari, and Duisburg all met the $2.5 million price tag placed on him by Nastabia Tchilas, the president of Mammelodi Sundowns of South Africa.

"Money didn't play any significant role in my choice of Bari, because all the four teams met the financial terms of Sundowns, with Sturm Granz even agreeing to exchange some players alongside the money.

"But I opted for Bari because the Calcio is regarded as the best in Europe, and parades big internationals from different countries," Ndukwe divulged.

He said that since he has finally transferred to Bari, Nigeria will now respect his game, compared to when he played for Sundowns. Ndukwe rounded off by saying that by the time he starts scoring goals in Italy, everybody will give him respect at the national team, because they know he is playing in the Calcio regarded as one of the best in Europe.

Chukwu Ndukwe has severally been given opportunity to wear the strikers shirt of the Super Eagles. But each time he had failed to impress by not scoring for Nigeria. This has cast a lot of doubt on his capabilities as a potent striker and the man to end Nigeria's scoring problem.

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