Finidi George - The Nigerian Gazelle

Category: Exhibitions
Date: 26 August 2001


Finidi George was the first bet of the president of Betis, Ruiz de Lopera, in order to make a champion team. The second was Alfonso. The Nigerian arrived to Sevilla from Ajax, a team where he has won absolutely everything and which was beginning to disband at all. In spite that his companions of team signed with clubs as Milan, Finidi accepted the proposal of future from Betis and a cheque with a lot of zeros to the right. Now, with team classified to the Cup of Winners of Cup and prepared to play the final of the Cup against Barcelona Ė an injury could impede him to play this match- Finidi has not regret of having said no to offers from other more important clubs than Betis in Europe.

His name, translated to English is "a future full of sun", but since he emigrated from his country, Finidi had been far from the sun. In Amsterdam, where his football illuminated the supporters from Ajax, the sun doesnít shine too many days in the year. In Sevilla, he has accomplished both lighting the supporters and seeing the sun.

All we saw him doing in the Dutch capital, he has made also here. Finidi never hides in a match. When he has the ball, he confront the defence and looks for the line of the end to assist Alfonso in order to finish the play. Thatís what a wing has to do.

With that long legs, a majestic style of running and a waist which seems to be made of gum, Finidi George is the most similar to a gazelle. But the best of the Nigerian is that he is not only a great athlete. There are a lot of fast players, but which are not so good with the ball. Finidi increases his performancs when he has to dribble an opponent.

Usually, he looks the dribble to the exterior, towards the limit of the pitch, in order to arrive to the deep line, but sometimes he surprises the defence with a dribble towards the center and shots from the border of the area. That produces that the players which defends him doesnít know where he will go, because Finidi whether can go to the right or the left or make an assistance to himself and exploit his stride.

Finidiís football allows to remember that wings are not dead and that the sideline is one of the fastest ways to arrived at goal, in spite of not being the shortest. If there are players as Finidi, Giggs or Figo, the stadiums of football will be used all through its wide. This is well known by the supporters in Sevilla, where with Jarni on the left and the Nigerian on the right form one of the more dangerous and compensated couples of the European football.

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