His sublime skills and tremendous tricks brought joy to fans of Eintracht Frankfurt and lit up Germany’s top division for many years.
Those were the words describe former Super Eagles skipper, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, according to his Germany’s Bundesliga. former German club, Eintracht Frankfurt.
The German football league announced that football icon is the latest star to join the Bundesliga Legends Network”.
It said Okocha is the newest member of an elite group of former playing greats to become part of the illustrious Bundesliga Legends Network.
The master dribbler as he is sometimes called, set Germany’s playing fields alight between 1992 and ’96, when the Nigerian ace scored 18 goals and provided 13 assists in 90 memorable matches for the team known as The Eagles.
Of Okocha, they wrote:
An attacking wizard who left Bundesliga defences mesmerised, Augustine Azuka Okocha, known as Jay-Jay, made it his intention to travel to Germany on vacation having watched the nation seal a memorable win at the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The skills he learned as a boy on the streets of Enugu and later at local team Enugu Rangers captivated the coaches of third-tier Borussia Neunkirchen, with whom Okocha enjoyed a trial with on account of a friend who played there.
Word of his tremendous talent and slaloming, goal-bound runs from the centre circle quickly spread and after a brief spell at FC Saarbrücken, the future Olympic Gold medalist was offered the grandest stage on which to test his skills by Eintracht Frankfurt. The Bundesliga was about to be bewildered by the quick feet, spellbinding step-overs, dream-like dribbles and eye-catching creativity of one of the developing stars, and characters, of the world game.
In fact, on 31 August 1993, Okocha combined all of the above traits to score one sensational goal that had beaten goalkeeper Oliver Kahn tweeting over 20 years later, “I’m still dizzy,” even now. Bundesliga giant Kahn entered folkloric status at Bayern Munich, but it was while at Karlsruhe that the highly decorated shot-stopper faced his Nigerian nemesis on a night when he, and several defenders, were left with a sense of motion sickness following Okocha’s jaw-dropping exploits.
Jay-Jay delighted on the international stage too, and formed part of a Nigeria side that received the nickname, The Dream Team, which enjoyed the ultimate success at the 1996 Olympics held in the United States. Just two years prior to that, the Africans were crowned continental champions in Tunisia with Okocha on board.
Following his spell in Germany, the attacking midfielder brought his skills to Turkish team Fenerbahce, Paris Saint-German and Bolton Wanderers, among others. Never to be forgotten among the sides he has represented, it is with warmth and delight that this footballing artist is remembered among the denizens of Eintracht while followers of the Bundesliga will forever continue to delight in the legend that is Jay-Jay Okocha. Welcome to the Bundesliga Legends Network.