Home CELEBRITY GOSSIP BORN TODAY BORN TODAY: JAY JAY OKOCHA, THE MOST UNDERRATED FOOTBALLER AND ‘THE KING OF DRIBBLES’

BORN TODAY: JAY JAY OKOCHA, THE MOST UNDERRATED FOOTBALLER AND ‘THE KING OF DRIBBLES’

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Joseph Omoniyi

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Augustine Azuka Okocha is arguably one of the best and most talented footballer that has ever graced the face of this earth with a wonderful career that was tainted with very few silverwares and shortlived due to injuries. Today, the unsung hero and inventor of some of the now celebrated dribbles i.e stepover is 46.

Although Okocha inherited the name, “Jay Jay” from his elder brother, Emmanuel who entered the sport ahead of him, but the name stuck with him even as the game better than with his brother. He was fondly referred to by the English commentators at the time he was playing for Bolton Wanderers as “Jay-Jay”, “so good that they named him twice”.

Augustine Jay Jay OkochaFussball Eintracht Frankfurt

He came to the game with bundles of talents as he effortlessly dribbled past defenders as if they were not there. He was known for his confidence with the ball, technique, creativity, and dribbling skills, as well as his use of feints, in particular, the stepovers.

He began playing football on the streets of Enugu where played anything round and found the proper football as a bonus, a mentality that later defined his career and mysterious journey in the sport.

Many have attributed Okocha’s snub by various bodies and lack of individual awards to his attitude towards the game as his approach to the game is for fun rather than for fund. He sees football as a tool to make fun of people and derives pleasure doing it that he sees every other reward as a bonus.

Jay Jay did not have the pleasure of playing with too many great players but, he so dealt with some of the best with his mockery dribbling techniques. One unforgettable one is the game against German legend Oliver Kahn in the shirt of Eintracht Frankfurt, where he rounded almost all the Karlsruher SC players, some twice before molesting the goalkeeper and then putting the ball at the back of the net.

Till tomorrow, it will remain a mystery that this gift to Africa failed to win The African footballer of The Year Award.

Happy birthday Jay Jay.

Honours:

International

Nigeria

  • Africa Cup of Nations: 1994; runner up: 2000; third place: 2002, 2004, 2006
  • Afro-Asian Cup of Nations: 1995
  • Summer Olympic Games: 1996

Individual

  • Goal of the Year (Germany): 1993
  • Nigerian Footballer of the Year: 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005; runner-up: 1996
  • African Footballer of the Year runner-up: 1998
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (Reserve): 1998
  • BBC African Footballer of the Year: 2003, 2004
  • BBC Goal of the Month: April 2003
  • Premier League Player of the Month: November 2003
  • African Cup of Nations Golden Boot: 2004
  • African Cup of Nations Best Player: 2004
  • Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year: 2004–05

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