Oguchi Onyewu to Play For Free in 2012-2013

Oguchi Onyewu

In today’s sporting culture, many athletes are painted with the same brush – all about money, with little concern about loyalty or equality.

Then there’s Oguchi Onyewu.

The U.S. international, recovering from a patellar tendon injury he suffered in a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica back in October, has added a year to his contract with AC Milan.

And he’s playing that year, 2012-2013, for free.

The club, as you might imagine, is quite happy.

“Onyewu, who has been out for virtually the whole season due to injury, but who at this time is getting ready to face the World Cup adventure in South Africa with his national team, has become a star today with a significant gesture from a personal and professional standpoint,” the club said.

“Onyewu has requested and obtained a contract extension. … With respect to that year, as was his wish, which has been appreciated by the club, Onyewu has asked not to receive any type of wages. This is an exemplary gesture that deserves our sincere congratulations.”

Onyewu, in Princeton with the rest of the national team in preparation for next month’s World Cup, has made a bold statement with this move.

One could argue that adding a year to a club relationship that has been a bit strained since his move from Standard Liege is a risky move.

One thing, however, is certain.

Onyewu doesn’t fit the normal athlete stereotype.

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