At his prime, the former Super Eagles defender retained a reputation of being a no-nonsense tackler who drove fear into the hearts of strikers, including the legendary Samuel Eto’o Fils.
Four-time African Footballer of the Year, Eto’o has confessed that he dreaded facing the former AC Milan defensive kingpin ahead of the finals of the 2000 AFCON tournament co-hosted by Nigeria and Ghana.
Eto’o played a key role as the Indomitable Lions conquered all oppositions to lift the 22nd edition of the continental showpiece.
Co-hosts, Nigeria – parading West in defence – were the opponents in the final match played at the Lagos National Stadium.
The former Barcelona striker, who had four goals at the tournament, gave the Lions the lead, Patrick Mboma then added a second before the Super Eagles rallied to force a draw thanks to goals from Okocha and Chukwu.
But Cameroon kept their nerves to edge the resultant penalty kicks.
The most decorated African striker in history has now confessed that he feared the worst ahead of that match.
“Taribo West was the defender who I feared the most when I first played against him (West) in the final of AFCON 2000,” Eto’o told Brila FM.
Eto’o is AFCON’s all-time topscorer and the all-time highest goalscorer for both Cameroon and Real Mallorca.