Connect with us


Diafra Sakho: My Father Wanted Me to Be a Truck Driver

Former West Ham United striker Diafra Sakho reveals he wouldn’t have become a footballer had his father had his way.

Former West Ham United striker Diafra Sakho reveals he wouldn’t have become a footballer had his father had his way.

The 29-year-old spent four seasons at the London Stadium prior to returning to French football with Stade Rennes before considerable success there led to a transfer to Turkish Super Lig outfit Bursaspor on loan.

However, talking about his early life, the former Metz goal-getter said his father Sakho Snr strongly opposed his football but the encouragement from his mother spurred him to take up the sport.

“If I’m here today, it’s thanks to my mother. She’s always encouraged me and bought soccer balls for me to play as a kid, so I easily chose football at an early age. My father did not want me to play football. His belief was, the son of a truck driver must be a truck driver,” he says, disclosing he and his mother had lived under the roof of his uncle until he received his first salary as a professional footballer.

Reminiscing on how he made the shock climb up from the French second tier to the English Premier League under Sam Allardyce when the erstwhile England manager was the boss at the Hammers, the Senegalese divulged an amusing incident in the build-up to his acquisition.

It happened that the London outfit had let loose their ubiquitous scouting agents across Europe to fish out a striker in a bid to rescue a Hammers’ season already looking headed for a plummet in the championship.

In that search, they could only get an untried Sakho, who in 2014, helped Metz secure promotion to the French Ligue1 having plundered in 20 goals.

A case of risk-taking it was for the EPL side but bothered as they were, and in the face of a catalog of defeats, Allardyce ended up making a swoop for the forward. However, that was not until after he posed him the firing question “what can you offer to West Ham?”

Diafra was bold in his reply.

“I answered him with a question: who is your top scorer right now, he replied Kevin Nolan who had eight goals and I told him that if I played half of the games he did, I would score 12 goals. And at end of the season, I played 22 games and I scored 12 goals,” he said.

Switching the discussion to the time he arrived at Metz in the winter of 2009, the attacker revealed the weather posed a threat at first and so took it him a number of months to fully adapt. When he finally did, he hit the ground running.

“When I arrived in Metz it was complicated because it was difficult to adapt to the high altitude and coaches had their little doubts about me. But when I managed to finish top scorer when I integrated well, they realised that I really had talent,” he elucidates.

To the present times, his job at on-loan club Bursaspor is a hectic portion – to deliver the northwestern side from the clutches of demotion as they sit three places above the drop in the 18-team Super Lig standings.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Football

Translate »