Former Nigerian international Austine “Jay-Jay” Okocha revealed that he had never won the main continental and world awards because he had not played as a striker.
Concise News reports that Okocha, who was considered one of the best midfielders in the world during its heyday, never won the African Player of the Year title or won a place in the Best Player of the Year award. FIFA.
Okocha was close to winning the African player of the year title in 1998 but finished second after Moroccan Mustapha Hadji.
The former Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and Bolton star, however, questioned his position on the pitch as being a reason he never received an award.
According to the 2004 BBC African player of the year, playing as a striker instead of a midfielder would have increased his chances of obtaining these awards.
Above all, he explained that the attackers had more recognition than the midfielders and that his dribbling skills were not sufficient to obtain the prizes.
“In my day, it is true that the number 10 position was prestigious, but if you wanted to become the best in the world, you had to play in 9,” Okocha told Afrique Sports.
“I am sure that if I had played higher, I would have won at least two Golden Balls, not from Africa, but the Golden Ball which recognizes the best player in the world.”
“It is not pride, but just an observation. I think I had the ability to play 9, but I preferred the position of No. 10 because it allowed me to unleash my creative genius. “