If football was an art, Jay Jay Okocha would be Picasso, but ironically football is an art, with an infusion of entertainment and a spinkle of war, and Jay Jay Okocha is one of the greatest to ever do it. The inscription “so good he was named twice” is one that will never be forgotten by true fans of Bolton Wanderers and the die hard fans of English football.
The world needs to relive the magic that is Jay Jay Okocha. The story will be scripted just like the life of a normal Nigerian kid, born into the street with nothing but a dream and an inborn talent to propel that dream. He started playing football on the streets of Enugu (that’s where he was born) even if his background says Delta.
He rose up through the ranks, and soon started playing for the mighty Enugu rangers, and with the fans exposed to his lethal dose of magic on a weekly basis, the name Okocha became as popular as the Okpa (a local delicacy) in Enugu state. The highlight of his Enugu rangers career was when he rounded off professional Nigerian goalkeeper William Okpara in a tough encounter against BCC Lions.
The man Jay Jay Okocha is entertainment at its best, when he plays for Nigeria and the ball gets to his feet, the fans know what to expect. The chant Ehhhhh!!! Ehhhhh!!!! Ehhhhhh!!!! is echoed all across Nigeria till it almost ignites a tremble.
His rise to fame wasn’t a roller coaster, but it was a smooth ride of dribbles, turns and feints, unique football tricks mostly invented by the man himself.
Jay Jay Okocha left the shores of Nigeria for the first time to Germany in 1990 so he could watch German league football. That year the Germans won the world cup, and Jay Jay probably went there to study the craft of the German machines (not knowing he would one day ride that machine, which he did.)
While in Germany Jay Jay Okocha accompanied his friend Numa Binebi to training, Numa at that time played for Borrusia Neunkerchein, a third division German team. He was asked to join in the training, probably to make up the number, but dazzled them to a point of dizziness that the club coach had to invite him the next day and outrightly offered the man a contract.
And that was where his German story began, dazzling and producing magical performances wlon a weekly basis. In two years times Jay Jay had risen from a third division player to become the Midfield Maestro for Eintracht Frankfurt, and Oliver Khan will tell you the rest of this beautiful story.
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In a game against Karlsruhe SC Jay Jay scored a goal that left the entire nation in shock….the greatest German goalkeeper Oliver Khan was reduced to a carrot farmer from Uzbekistan. Jay Jay rounded him multiple times, same goes for some defenders too, before slotting the ball in the net. The goal was voted the best goal in Germany that year, and will not be forgotten soon by one of the greatest world goalkeepers.
He left Frankfurt after falling out with the coach, and joined Turkish side Fenerbahçe. In turkey the man entered into a goal frenzy, producing magic daily, with freekick goals becoming his trademark. In turkey he was so popular that he became Muslim, adopting the name Muhammet Yavus. That sounds like the name of a Demigod, and I believe some Fernerbahçe fans still pray to that name because he was their football idol.
French Ligue 1 giants PSG signed him afterwards for £14 million making him the most expensive African player at that time. It was in PSG he met Ronaldinho Gauchó and became some sort of mentor to yet another football magician. Most people still argue Jay Jay rubbed off on him in their time together at PSG.
His time in Paris was a successful one, the city of romance and love had a certain love affair with the skillful African midfield maestro. Jay Jay created magic anywhere he went, and in 2002 he joined Bolton wanderers, and then his English story began.
Bolton wanderers fans hadn’t seen anything like that before, they had a midfielder who was heads above any other in the premier league in terms of raw talent. On the football pitch Jay Jay was mesmerizing and Paul Scholes will back up this story with facts.
Even if he never won the African player of the year for reasons lost to most Africans, they still consider him one of the greatest, in the same leagues as the Roger Millers, George Weahs, Abeddi Pele and Tony Yeboahs of this world.
He steered the team away from relegation that year, that he became captain the next year. Fro then Jay Jay continued to show the world why he is Jay Jay. Everyone who witnessed Jay Jay in action wants to see it again, and those who weren’t too lucky, deserve to know why the name Jay Jay never stops coming out of their parents’ mouths.
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This man deserves a biopic, documenting the Renaissance age of JayJay Okocha, entertaining, exhilarating, and a blockbuster footballer with a bag of skill on his shoulder. His Biopic should be what the man is “Legendary”. Jay Jay Okocha should be documented, and only the most legendary of directors need pick up that camera.
This Article is written by @itweetanalysis_