I Sacrificed My Position For Oliver Giroud At Montpelier – John Utaka
Former Nigeria international John Utaka says winning the league with modest club Montpelier was his best club achievement.
Utaka signed for French side Montpellier, back in January 2011 and scored his first goal of the team against Ajaccio on 21 September 2011.
The former Portsmouth of England forward went on to form a good partnership with Souleyman Camara and Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud which is regarded as the best partnership in the history of the Club.
Utaka scored seven goals in that season, including a brace to secure a 2–1 victory over Auxerre and win the Ligue 1 title for Montpellier over PSG, for the first time in the club’s history.
Utaka told Brila FM that winning the French league stands out on the list of achievements, despite winning the English FA Cup with Portsmouth as well.
“We had a lot of young players in the team, that came from the youth team and we are going head to head with PSG for the league.”
“On paper, they were the best team, because they had the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silver and other great players in the team, but we are more of a collective team.”
“And with these boys not having much experience and won the league was special for me, “Utaka told www.brila.net.
The former Super Eagles forward also reveal that he sacrificed his favorite center forward position for Olivier Giroud and he’s happy the French striker made most of the opportunity.
” I was on the left, Souleyman Camara on the right and Olivier Giroud in the center, I had to play on the left because Giroud won’t play on the wing, he is huge and strong and was the point man.” He said.
Utaka spent two seasons with the club and departed with a record of 12 goals from 68 appearances.
Utaka was part of Nigeria’s 2002 FIFA World Cup squad in Korea and Japan, he was also a member of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2004 African cup of Nations.