Ajax and Cameroon goalkeeper André Onana has always been outspoken when it comes to shedding light on the struggles of African players in Europe.
Speaking to Onze Mondial, Onana said that African goalkeepers are undercut. “Being a goalkeeper of colour, African, you are undercut, you are seen differently.”
Onana claims that after the 2017 Europa League final, where Manchester United defeated Ajax 2-0 to lift the trophy, his agent was in discussions with an unnamed Italian club over a potential transfer.
The sports director of the Italian club allegedly said to Onana’s agent: “A black goalkeeper is complicated here.”
This season Italy has been in the footballing headlines for all the wrong reasons, as fans have racially abused black players on numerous occasions.
Goalkeeping is considered to be the most mentally-tough position on the football field, explaining why a racist would be adverse to hiring a black player for that position.
Despite losing out on a transfer because of his race, Onana explained how he felt liberated. “But I was happy. They didn’t tell me I was a bad goalkeeper, they said they didn’t want me because I was black, it’s different. This something I cannot control. I am black and I am proud to be black!”
Onana concluded by saying: “Despite the misery there [Africa], it is the most beautiful continent in the world and I say it loud and clear. I am proud!”
It is great to see that Onana keeps an uplifting view on the world despite how he has been wronged because of racism.