SOCCER

Olaitan doubts Manchester United match caused his collapse at Olympiakos


The West African played for the Greek side 16 times and scored eight goals but was released after the incident

Nigerian Michael Olaitan insists he does not know what led to his collapse in the Athens Derby between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos seven years ago.

The now-28-year-old collapsed while turning out for the Greek side in 2014 and he ended up being released by the team as the technical bench was reluctant in fielding him. The forward, who now plays for Panserraikos Football Club, recalls the situation prior to his collapse.

“I had played 90 minutes in the 2-0 victory against Manchester United in Karaiskakis [on February 25, 2014] and Michel had to give me extra days because I was tired and he gave them to me,” Olaitan told Gazzetta.gr 

“I did not train until Saturday, I committed a foul that day. It did not even occur to me that I would play in the derby with Panathinaikos. I think he put me, like the other guys who played against United, to reward us for the performance we made in the Champions League game.”

The former Nigeria U20 player concedes he was tired after the game but rules out fatigue as the reason for his collapse.

“You know, I was really tired after the match. I remember that I did not have the strength to even walk. I just went to my room to rest,” Olaitan continued.

“On the other hand, I cannot believe that fatigue caused such a thing. In Veria, where I had played more, I didn’t even have a day off, so, I honestly do not know.”  

The Nigerian made 16 appearances for Olympiakos and scored eight goals in the process. But after that incident, he was loaned to Ergotelis, Twente and Kortrijk respectively.

The technical bench was wary of fielding the striker despite getting the go-ahead from doctors. His limited playing time pushed him out of the team, and even where he went, he struggled to get the impact he had managed initially.

He has also played for Panionios, Samtredia, Apollon Pontou, and Veria. Olaitan played for the Nigeria U20 team eight times between 2013-14.


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