Nigeria’s Legendary player who is known for his great soccer skill,his confidence, and creativity, Augustine Azuka ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha has clinched Bolton’s Most Valuable Player For The Past 20 years.
Born in a rural community at Enugu state, Nigeria on the 14th of August 1973. Jay Jay steadily created a long-lasting legacy in the history of Nigerian footballers, and it came as no surprise when he clinched this title, owing to his desire to outshine others.
Like many football stars before him, Okocha began playing on the streets with a makeshift football or any big -round shaped object he could find, constantly honing his skills, turning what started as a hobby into a career.
In his interview with BBC sports, Jay Jay Okocha spoke of his determination to succeed in his area of choice , not hesitating to point out his love for the sport, as well as the sense of fulfillment he gets each time he handles a ball, each time, making magic with his feet. Having dual citizenship, Nigerian – Turkish, he is a professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder for Nigerian teams as well as other teams in diaspora.
His big break came when he accompanied his friend Binebi Numa to a training in Germany following the country’s victory in the 1990 FIFA world cup. After watching for a while, he requested to join and was given a contract by the coach who had been highly pressed by his skills. He continued playing for other teams, finally making his debut in Nigeria in her 1994 FIFA world cup against Ivory Coast, instantly becoming a favorite of Nigerian supporters.
As with many stars, his rise to fame came with obstacles. Constantly hampered BH injuries, he proposed retirement which was later granted leading to his leaving the team. He got elected as the chairman of Delta State football Association in February 21 2015 and has expressed his desire in becoming the Football Federation President, a position which he has since been pursuing fervently.
Surprisingly, Okocha never won the African player of the year award, despite coming second twice in 1998, he however won the inaugural BBC African Footballer of the Year and the successive one, becoming the only player to win and retain the award more than once.
He has since being honoured with several awards both home and abroad. Earlier in September 2017,he posted a picture of his award as ‘FIFA Best Player’.
His dogged determination to achieve his dreams, also boosted by the fact that he was doing what he loved, has created waves for him in the football world. It is very clear that he deserves this new award.
Congratulations! Jay Jay Okocha