Special birthday greetings to one of the world’s most revered footballers Jay-Jay Okocha as he clocks 44.
Augustine Azuka “Jay-Jay” Okocha was born on August 14, 1973. He is a retired Nigerian footballer.
He is a quick and very skillful playmaker who is widely regarded as the best Nigerian player of his generation and one of the greatest all-time African players.
Okocha was known for his confidence, technique, creativity, and dribbling skills, as well as his use of
feints, in particular, the step over.
Okocha humiliated one of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time Oliver Khan in 1994, scoring one of the most spectacular goals in Bundesliga history.
Representing Eintracht Frankfurt, watch below as his mesmerizing dribbling confounds the entire Karlsruher SC defence.
Speaking of individual achievements, the 44-year-old never won the African Player of Year award, becoming arguably the best player never to win the award despite coming second twice in 1998.
However, he did win the inaugural BBC African Footballer of the Year and the successive one, becoming the only player to retain the award and win it more than once.
In 2004, he was listed in football legend Pelé ‘s FIFA 100 (a list of the greatest 125 living players of all time). In 2007, he was voted number 12 on the greatest African footballers of the past 50 years list, on a poll conducted by CAF to coincide with their 50th anniversary.
Okocha lifted the African Cup of Nations trophy in 1994, got the runners up medal in 2000 and was part of the Nigerian national team that came third in 2002, 2004 and 2006 editions of the continental tournament.
The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder won the 1996 Olympics gold medal in the football event with likes of Nwankwo Kanu and Taribo West.
He scored a total of 14 goals in 73 international appearances for the Nigeria national team before he hung his boot in 2006.
Nevertheless, it is worthy of note that Okocha’s nephew Alex Iwobi, who plays for Arsenal football club, England, is already walking in the football footsteps of his legendary uncle as it can be seen that Iwobi’s style of play is so much fashioned to Okocha’s.