FIFA, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and Paris Saint-Germain all sent birthday wishes to Austin “Jay Jay” Okocha, the famous leader of Nigeria and one of the country’s best players in history. Okocha turned 50 yesterday.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Bolton Wanderers also sent the famous player good wishes.
“One of football’s greatest magicians,” FIFA said on Twitter. Happy 50th birthday, Jay-Jay Okocha! He was so good that they gave him two names.
CAF wrote on Twitter, “Happy Birthday to Nigeria’s legend Jay-Jay Okocha!.”
“Happy birthday to the magician, Jay-Jay Okocha!” said PSG.
The NFF said about his 50th birthday party, “Happy birthday to former Super Eagles captain and midfielder Augustine “Jay Jay” Okocha, who turns 50 today.” “Jay Jay, Jay Jay!”
Bolton also said, “Happy birthday to our former captain, Jay Jay Okocha.”
He was born in Enugu, Nigeria, on August 14, 1973. Okocha started playing football with the Rangers International Club of Enugu. In January 1993, he played his first game for his country at the U-20 AFCON in Mauritius.
Yesterday, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State praised Jay-Jay Okocha, who has won many awards. Okocha is one of Africa’s most famous midfielders of all time. In 2004, he won the African Legend award and the BBC African Player of the Year award. In the same year, at the finals of the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia, he was named the Best Player and Top Scorer.
He was also the leader of the Super Eagles when they won the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan. Between 1993 and 2006, Okocha played 73 times for the Nigeria National team and scored 14 goals. He was also on three FIFA World Cup teams.
In a statement made in Asaba by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Festus Ahon, Oborevwori said that Jay-Jay Okocha was the perfect player and that his services to the growth of football in Nigeria and around the world were very important.
He praised the former attacking midfielder for Eintracht Frankfurt, Paris Saint-Germain F.C., and Bolton Wanderers for being patriotic, humble, and helpful to young players. He also said that he was still a good representative of Delta.
The governor said that Okocha was a very talented football player who used his many years of experience when he was in charge of the Delta Football Association (DFA) from 2015 to 2019.
Oborevwori said, “You are one of the best football players Delta has ever had, and we are proud of all you have done in the round leather game.”
“As you turn 50, your family, friends, and admirers have a lot to thank God for because you’ve done so many great things in your life.”
He asked God to bless Okocha’s path and use him to inspire young people in Delta and all over the country.
A wide range of his friends said that Jay Jay deserved to be honoured for his life of service to his country. They said that he made his friends and people who like the round-leather game happy all over the world.
Emmanuel Uzor, the former governor David Umahi’s Chief Press Secretary, said that Jay-Jay was “easily Nigeria’s most famous player in terms of national team honours.”
Uzor said, “Jay-Jay won gold at the 1994 AFCON and the 1996 Olympic Games, silver at the 2000 AFCON, and bronze at the 2002, 2004, and 2006 AFCONS.” He was a key member of the team that got the country into the World Cup for the first time in 1994, and he was a top player in France in 1998.
Ikenna Odo, a member of the Board of the Ebonyi Football Association, said that Okocha was “a skills workshop” who kept fans on the edge of their seats every time he played.
“Pele, a famous football player who has since died, said that Pa Jay was one of the best footballers who ever lived, and his skills earned him such praise around the world.
“It is true that the country has not found a replacement for him since he retired in 2006. Since then, the Super Eagles have been doing worse,” he said.
Okocha’s first game with the Super Eagles was in 1993 against Côte d’Ivoire. Over the years, he has been so many different things to so many different people.
“One of the No. 10s I’ve always admired” is how Ronaldinho Gaucho describes Okocha. El Hadji Diouf, a famous player from Senegal, says that Okocha is “the most talented player I’ve ever seen.”
Jurgen Klopp, who is in charge of Liverpool, said that Okocha “scored the most spectacular goal in German football history.” Taribo West, who used to play defence for AC Milan, said that Okocha “was a better player than Zidane.”
Sam Allardyce, the best boss Bolton Wanderers has ever had, thought Okocha’s skills with the ball were out of this world. “No one else has been like him, not even Cristiano (Ronaldo),” he said.
George Weah, the only person from Africa to win the Ballon d’Or, said, “I can’t do even 1% of what Okocha does with the ball.”
Fans of Fenerbahce think that Okocha is the best football player in Africa. Many people had never seen him play football like he did before.
Every game, Okocha had a new trick up his sleeve. He danced right past his opponents and scored free kicks from impossible distances and angles. They loved him so much that they made him a citizen of Turkey and gave him a new name: Muhammed Yavuz.
On one of Okocha’s recent visits to the club, 25 years after he left, fans still sang his name, and former Arsenal star Mesut Ozil was thrilled to meet his childhood hero.
After the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Paris Saint-Germain had to pay an African record transfer fee to get Fenerbahce to give up their best player. After the FIFA World Cup in the summer of 2002, Okocha left PSG and went to Bolton Wanderers for free.
He played for Bolton for four years and left as the best player the Wanderers have ever had at the Reebok/Macron Stadium. Fans of Bolton will never forget Okocha’s winner-goal against West Ham United, which later won the team’s Goal of the Season award. In 2008, Bolton fans voted this goal as the team’s best Premier League goal ever.
Since he left Bolton in 2006, they haven’t had a player as talented or well-known as the former captain of the Super Eagles.
For Nigerian fans, Okocha is a living hero. He is known as the ball-juggler who made millions of people believe he was a player. He wasn’t Maradona. He wasn’t like Pele. He wasn’t like Zidane. He had a little bit of everything and more.
Before him, there was no one like him, and since he left the national team, no one has come close to taking up the role he left behind.
After short turns with Qatar SC and Hull City, Okocha quit in 2008, but now and then he shows up to remind fans of what they are missing.