Kenya International star Mariga back on Parma roster
You can call it going full cycle for Kenya’s McDonald Mariga who has made a return to his first club in Italy’s Serie A, FC Parma.
On Monday, Parma announced on its website that it had acquired the midfielder on loan from Inter Milan with an option of taking him up permanently.
This comes hours after Spanish side Real Sociedad had also said on its website that Mariga was returning to Inter after prematurely ending his loan spell with the Basque club.
“Real Sociedad has reached an agreement with Inter Milan to break the loan contract that tied McDonald Mariga (to the club) until June 30, 2012. After settling administrative procedures, the Kenyan midfielder will return to his Italian club,” the statement said.
There had been speculation over the past couple of months that Mariga would be returning to Inter where he won a treble with the Italian giants in 2010.
The Parma announcement however settles his immediate future, for now.
Parma’s website said Mariga would be officially presented to the press yesterday at Tardini Stadium, the home of Parma, and handed the number 15 jersey.
Mariga, 24, first signed for Parma in August 2007, initially on loan from Swedish club Helsingborg.
The club ended up relegated but Mariga had a storming Serie ‘B’ season with them in 2008/2009, helping them to regain their ‘A’ status and naturally attracting keen interest in Europe.
The most watched football league in the world, the English Premier League, looked a likely destination but the much-talked-about deal for Mariga to play for Manchester City fell through in 2010 over work permit issues and he ended up at Inter.
It proved to be a great move as he became the first Kenyan to win the prestigious European Champions League.
He also won Serie ‘A’ and Coppa Italia with Inter in the same season.
Then coach Jose Mourinho described Mariga as one of the best young talents in Europe while the Inter Milan president, Massimo Moratti, said the midfielder was one of the best things to have happened to the club.
Mariga’s star looked set to soar, only for injuries and the exit of Mourinho from Inter to relegate him to the club’s periphery. His form, even at international level, suffered a dip and Inter offloaded him on loan to Real Sociedad last August.
The 24-year-old, former Tusker and Kenya Pipeline player made 17 appearances for the relegation fighting Spanish outfit, but never really sparkled.