Former Nigeria international Justice Christopher has revealed that his lack of playing up to 75 per cent with the Super Eagles cost him a move to Manchester City.
Christopher made his debut with the Eagles in 2001 and was a member of the squad that finished third at the 2002 AFCON in Mali.
Also, he made the final 23-man squad to the Korea/Japan 2002 FIFA World Cup and played in all the Eagles’ three group games.
Before quitting the Eagles in 2002, the 38-year-old former midfielder played just 11 times.
And recalling why the move to City fell through, Christopher in a chat on “Ifeanyi Udeze’s Diary” on Brila FM said: “I never had so many caps. I was in Belgium when I went to Manchester City with Kevin Keegan in charge. I trained with Shawn Wright-Philips and others, we were there together. And how much was my transfer fee then, it was just £850,000.
“Everything was approved but unfortunately due to the 75 per cent it wasn’t possible and life goes on.
“Immediately after the World Cup I went to Middlesbrough the same thing again, they said 75 per cent, because I didn’t have enough caps.”
Christopher praised Eagles coach Gernot Rohr for what he has done in the team but fault him for not giving enough opportunities to NPFL players.
“Gernot Rohr has done a good job with the Eagles and I still believe he has more room to improve,” he said.
“But I’m happy with what the NFF has offered because I’m a product of the local league. I was fortunate to play with the big boys when I was still playing with Bendel Insurance.
“So for me I see no reason why we will go to a tournament and you will tell me despite that we have great teams like Rangers, Plateau United, Lobi Stars and Kano Pillars, you are telling me players from these teams can’t make the Eagles, then something must be wrong somewhere.”
During his playing career, Christopher played for Katsina United, Sharks, Bendel Insurance, Nassarawa United, Royal Antwerp, Levski Sofia amongst others.