Why I Didn’t Play For Top Clubs In Europe – Okocha

In a recent interview with Arise TV, former Super Eagles captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, shared the reasons behind his decision not to play for top clubs during his illustrious playing career.

According to Okocha, the bigger teams did not present him with lucrative contracts, which influenced his choices. Despite his immense talent and reputation, the offers he received from these clubs were not as enticing as he had hoped.

While discussing his career, Okocha acknowledged that his choice of clubs may have played a role in him not being crowned African Footballer of the Year. However, he did not let this hinder his passion for the game, as he went on to represent notable clubs such as Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Paris Saint-Germain, Bolton Wanderers, Qatar SC, and Hull City. Okocha ultimately retired from professional football in 2008 at the age of 34.

Although he narrowly missed out on winning the prestigious African Footballer of the Year award, Okocha achieved remarkable recognition in the competition. He was named the runner-up in 1998 and secured third place in both 2003 and 2004, solidifying his status as one of Africa’s most exceptional football talents.

Okocha’s candid revelations shed light on the intricacies of his career decisions, highlighting the importance of considering various factors beyond just the reputation of the clubs when choosing where to ply his trade. Despite not representing the so-called top teams, his impact on the game and his contributions to African football remain undeniable.

He said, “It was not easy for an African player to play for top clubs because they don’t pay high wages.

“When they offer you a contract, the money is small because they see it as doing you a favour.

“That is why I went for clubs that are ready to pay me higher. I had to turn down some offers from big clubs because of wage issues. But things have changed now, as Africans and Nigerians get bigger contracts overseas.”

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