Former FC Barcelona star, Gbenga Okunowo, has said that the partnership between the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and its Spanish equivalent, La Liga, can lead to greater things for his country.
Okunowo, who now lives in the southwest Nigerian city of Ibadan, explained that the tour of Spain helped the country’s NPFL All-Stars realise that they still have a great deal to learn in the sport, considering their results against their Spanish opponents.
The 37-year-old added that the partnership between the Nigerian league and La Liga should lead to improvement from his country’s clubs on and off the pitch.
“I was able to watch one of the games that our players (the NPFL All-Stars) played in Spain. You will see that our standard of game is low, that is how I can qualify their outing in Spain, because if we can take the best players in the league and go to Spain and can’t play at least a draw, then there is something wrong in our league.
“However, the exposure is good for our football clubs because it will open their eyes to how to set up their teams for games, as well as prepare before a game including other technical aspects of football, which Spanish clubs apply in training and match situations. I am sure that most of the players who went for the tour will learn a thing or two, and strive to improve their all-round game. The Spanish tour surely shows that we need to do a lot in our league to grow and become popular,” said the former 3SC man.
He also believes that “the partnership between our league and the Spanish league is good for our football.”
Okunowo played for FC Barcelona between 1998 and 2001 after making his debut for the Blaugrana at the age of 18.