The Super Eagles legend said many teammates found it difficult with the incredibly talented Jayjay Okocha but he adapted to him as he listened when he talked to him
Sunday Oliseh has revealed many of their Super Eagles teammates found it difficult to cope with the former Bolton Wanderers’ star’s style of football.
Speaking on Athlst’s Podcast, Special Delivery with Emmanuel Babayaro and Matthew Edafe, Oliseh said Okocha was gifted but his excesses were difficult to cope with for defensive players, and they lost it many times.
“With Jayjay, most people would say he was a difficult player to play with, as teammates, as defensive players. But I personally had a way, an understanding with Jayjay that made it easy for me to play with him, ” Oliseh said.
“There was one particular game, I’ll share a story with you. We were playing and Jayjay was doing his normal thing and Nigerian fans were going crazy. In our team, as much as we disagreed, every player was a king in their position. We had match winners – most of the players could win games but if someone did something bad in the group, the defenders always tell me, ‘Sunday tell am o’.
“They knew I was the only one who could to say to Jayjay that ‘my man, release the ball and Jayjay would release. There was one particular game, he was doing it and we lost the ball. And the ball was coming and Taribo was going crazy about him. And he lost the ball one more time, and I told him ‘hey my man, I’m tired of running. And the next time he went on dribbling and lost the ball. I left the man. I let the opponent pass and they almost scored. Taribo went crazy, he crossed ahead of me and I had to grab him. Don’t joke with Taribo. He wants to win. He’s fanatical about winning, ” Oliseh narrated.
Oliseh and Okocha played together in the Super Eagles at least for 8 years between 1994 and 2002. They played together as teammates at the USA 94’ World Cup, Atlanta 96 Olympics, France 98 World Cup, Ghana/Nigeria 2000 AFCON and the Mali 2002 AFCON.
Both players are two of Nigeria’s greatest players of all time.