Three-time French Player of the Year Alain Giresse can’t forget the day he saw the Nigerian genius smashed in a goal totally out of the ordinary in Ligue 1.
The 1984 European Champion is certain that there are not many stars in the history of football who are as gifted as Austin Jay Jay Okocha.
He revealed that the two-time BBC Footballer of the Year possessed the ability that could not be taught to another. Giresse pointed to one match in particular that convinced him of the Nigerian playmaker’s wizardry.
Okocha had just switched from Fenerbahce to PSG following a fantastic display for Nigeria at that summer’s FIFA World Cup held in France.
The 1994 AFCON winner made his league debut for the Parisians on the 12th day of September 1998 against Bordeaux and displayed a bit of the magic he had been renowned with.
The home side was already 2-nil up thanks to second-half strikes from Lilian Laslandes and Sylvain Wiltord when the Nigerian playmaker was introduced in the 75th minute.
Two minutes later, the whole stadium erupted in shouts of joy as Okocha produced a moment of pure genius.
The former Frankfurt star picked up the ball from the half-way line, dribbling past a Bordeaux defender before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
PSG still lost the game 3-1 but their coach on the day, Giresse, is still in awe of Okocha’s wonder strike 22 years after.
“I remember, the first time he did that, it was when I was in Paris, against Monaco (ed. It was against Bordeaux. Okocha never scored against Monaco), on the side.
“He fixed his defender, and he made his double pass of legs, and there…,” the former Tunisia head coach told RMC Sports as quoted by Girondins4Ever.
“We were there, with an admiring side. And it happened quickly.
“How do you want to learn this? It is something that is a little supernatural.”
Okocha found the back of the net another 19 times before moving to Bolton Wanderers in 2002.