It has been over a decade since the Nigerian legend hanged his football boots, but his exploits in the game continue to influence many after him
Senegalese midfielder Mamadou Kanoute has confessed that he looks up to former Super Eagles midfield wizard Austin Okocha for inspiration, even as he promised to raise his level for his new club, Palermo.
One of Africa’s greatest ever players, Okocha was famed for his trickery on the ball, his incredible vision, and his ability to get past opponents effortlessly.
The former PSG magician also scored goals aplenty across spells in Germany, Turkey, France, and England, with his iconic wonder-goal past the legendary Oliver Kahn recently hailed by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
An undoubtedly talented midfielder, Kanoute would like to follow in the footsteps of the 1994 Afcon winner.
Kanoute signed for Palermo on Thursday after spending two years on the payroll of fellow Serie C side Catanzaro.
The 26-year-old playmaker has not scored a league goal since 2017, but he believes that drawing inspiration from the Nigerian hero, he can rediscover his form in front of goal.
“I’m fine physically and I can play right away if Mr. Boscaglia wants,” Kanoute said, as quoted by the ItaSportsPress.
“I will work to score more goals as I have scored few in the past. Jay-Jay Okocha, former Nigerian international, inspires me.”
Okocha retired in 2008, eighteen years after beginning his European sojourn at German club Borussia Neunkirchen.