Former Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, has revealed that his football career would have suffered if he had stayed longer in the country.
The former Enugu Rangers player left Nigeria as a teenager to continue his career in Germany, where he signed for Borussia Neunkirchen at the age of 16.
After two years, he moved to Eintracht Frankfurt where he became a legend in the Bundesliga and he is famously remembered for his wizardry goal against Oliver Kahn.
Okocha went on to become a global star, playing for some of the best clubs in Europe including Paris-Saint Germain and Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League.
According to Okocha, “my career would have suffered if I had stayed longer in Nigeria.
“The difference is that in Europe you have everything you need to improve as a player and you’re playing under better coaches and a better environment. In Nigeria, we lack facilities and that disturbs one’s opportunity to perform and bring out the best in a young player,” he told Arise TV.
“I was lucky that I left Nigeria early,” Okocha added.
Okocha is revered in Nigeria after starring in his country’s World Cup appearances in 1998 and 2002.
Okocha who retired from the round-leathered game having last played for Hull City in 2008, left indelible footprints after spending 18 years playing professionally.