Former Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo has opened up on how his performance in a friendly game against the Republic of Ireland in 2002 convinced former Everton manager, David Moyes, to lure him to Premier League club Everton from French giants Marseille.
In an Instagram Live chat with the Super Eagles Media Team on Wednesday, the country’s most capped player said Moyes was impressed with his outing against former Manchester United captain Roy Keane at Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
He said, “How I moved to Everton, we played against Ireland in a friendly game preparing for the 2002 World Cup and David Moyes watched me.
“That game I played in the midfield with Jay-Jay (Austin Okocha), so we were in the middle and we played against Roy Keane, the former Manchester United captain and I was able to make a statement in that game.
“After that game, David Moyes spoke to me that he wanted me to come to Everton and I made him understand that I wanted to go the World Cup first, because even at the World Cup, there was something going on with Juventus, a rumour that I was going to Juventus. So, I told my agent that I wanted to go to the World Cup and I’m glad my dream came true.
“At the World Cup, people said I was one of the best performers and there were offers from everywhere for me.”
The Eagles assistant coach also revealed how Everton won the race for his signature despite interests from Juventus and Arsenal.
“My agent told me that we were going to England. I didn’t want to ask too many questions, where we were going. There were rumours of Arsenal and other teams, but I went to Belgium and we took a flight and the flight landed in Liverpool,” he added.
“He told me Moyes wanted to speak to me, so Moyes took me around the club, told me his dreams and what he expects from me and how good a player he wants me to be.
“Basically he wanted to make me one of the best defenders in the world, those were his words. He bought me lunch and sold the club entirely to me.
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“He was a young manager, a former defender. One thing that struck me was he said he wanted to make me one of the best defenders in the world. So, we spoke with my agent and I decided to move to Everton, but they couldn’t reach a deal that’s why it was a loan,” added Yobo.