For the first time, Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey addressed the sensitive issue of discrimination in football in Europe, where he has plied his trade since 2013.
The Ghana international is of the opinion that African players don’t earn the same consideration as their European mates.
Partey is not the first African professional to have raised the issue. The likes of Samuel Eto’o from Cameroon and Ivorian born Yaya Toure have voiced their concerns as well, lamenting the situation.
“If we are compared with European players, it looks like they are more considered than a player from Africa,” Partey told Spanish international news agency, EFE.
“We had very good players, like Yaya Toure, Michael Essien. They were considered as good players, but not at the level to win a Ballon d’Or because they come from Africa, but they are ‘top’ players from Africa.
“We consider them as ‘top’ players but not at the level of the likes of Modric, Messi or Ronaldo, but there were very many good African players.
“Eto’o and Drogba scored a lot of goals and could have won the Ballon d’Or, but they did not succeed,” he said.
Current Liberia president George Weah remains the only African winner of the Ballon d’Or, which he won in 1995 while playing for AC Milan.
Partey joined Atletico Madrid B in 2013 before enrolling with the main team two years later.