Many German people still retain special affection for former Super Eagles star, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, for his unique talents, says renowned football intermediary, Erkut Sogut.
Sogut, football agent for Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, admits to being a long-time admirer of the two-time BBC Footballer of the Year, and he’s convinced that many German young football hopefuls still look up to the creative genius of the Nigerian.
Okocha is often considered to be Nigeria’s most naturally gifted player ever and one of the greatest African footballers of all time.
The former attacking midfielder’s mesmerizing skills and deft touches earned him cult status at Fenerbahce in Turkey, made him a fans favourite at PSG, and secured him an esteemed spot as a Bolton Wanderers legend in England.
But it was his early exploits in the Bundesliga with Frankfurt that captivated the hearts of many, including a young Sogut who then was growing as a youngster at another German club.
“When I was playing football in the youth academy of Hannover, and he was playing in Frankfurt, he has this special skill, and everyone wants to be like him, ” Sogut told Goal.
“You know why? He was different; he was creative; he wasn’t a robot-like most of the football players.
“He was doing things in a different way, and that made him so unique. That is why kids in Germany love him and still love him.”
Okocha spent two years at Frankfurt scoring 18 league goals, many of which were stunners including the 1993 Goal of the Season, which he netted against Karlsruher SC after dribbling a few defenders in the penalty box before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.