AC Milan defender Oguchialu “Oguchi” Onyewu has declared he wants to play one full season at the club without being paid a salary, in order to make up for being injured pretty much for the entire year. Oguchi moved from Belgium side Standard Liege to the Italian giants in 2009, but a knee injury has restricted him to only four appearances.

Oguchi, who is set to represent the US at this summer’s World Cup, decided that the best course of action would be to add another year to his contract where he’ll play for free, a move that has earned him a lot of praise from the Milan directors. He has done what many footballers say they’d like to do but never really carry out, and I think he deserves admiration for that.

It has never made perfect sense to me why footballers who stay on the sidelines for an entire season still get paid big money weekly, since for most other jobs their contracts would simply be terminated. Of course, a club has to stick by its players if it wants them to be happy and continue playing, but getting rich by literally staying at home on your feet is ridiculous.

Considering how much modern footballers at the highest levels get paid, you’d think one season of no pay wouldn’t hurt them much at all. Hopefully more players take a leaf from Oguchi’s book, as there are many things that can be done to reduce some of the obscene spending in football.

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