The legendary player gave his opinions about the upcoming season in a candid conversation.
Jay Jay Okocha is a famous name in world football. The former professional is regarded as one of the most skilful players to play the game. He was a sensational player for the Nigerian national team and took to the field for teams such as Bolton Wanderers, Eintracht Frankfurt, Paris Saint-Germain and more. He also had a brief stint in Indian football before hanging his boots.
The 48-year-old took part in a very insightful and candid conversation with the media where he talked about the German Bundesliga, advice for Sadio Mane, Eintracht Frankfurt’s chances in the upcoming season and the prospect of seeing Mario Gotze playing for the team.
Here are the excerpts from the conversation with legendary Nigerian footballer Jay Jay Okocha:
A familiar player
While talking about a modern player that reminds him of himself, Okocha mentioned the uniqueness of each individual. He said;
“I think every player is unique. It’s difficult to say that someone plays like me. We got a lot of talented players in Bundesliga. Maybe, I was a little precious. Every player has got his own style and I don’t think it’s fair to compare.”
Role of Eintracht Frankfurt in his career
A former Eintracht Frankfurt player, Jay Jay Okocha remains very thankful for the opportunities he got at the club. While speaking about the same, he said;
“I was over the moon the way the season went. I am a die-hard Eintracht Frankfurt fan now. It was great to see the team win a European trophy. It was the club that gave me the first opportunity as a professional. Will always have a special place in my heart. It’s good to see the team competing against the best.”
“The club needs to build on the foundation that has been laid now and stop selling its key players. You should be able to have players that have been together,” he continued.
Words of advice for Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane has left Liverpool to sign for Bayern Munich for the 2022-23 season. Talking about this move and any advice that he may have for the forward, Jay Jay said:
“I think he has joined a very strong Bayern side that is always competing in the UEFA Champions League and rightly won the title 10 years in a row now. He has joined the best club in Germany and the only advice I can give him is to learn how to speak German as soon as possible. It is always important to be able to communicate. I don’t think he needs more advice because he is an outstanding player and I have no doubt he will do good in the Bundesliga.”
Race for the Golden Boot
Since the departure of players like Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland, it is a massive debate as to who will win the Golden Boot in the German Bundesliga. Giving his opinion on the matter, Okocha said:
“Robert Lewandowski has dominated the league when it comes to goalscoring in the past decade. It is difficult to see who will follow suit because he has been consistent like no other in the Bundesliga. Maybe (Christopher) Nkunku might have a good season with RB Leipzig, but it is also very important with the team you are playing with. It will be interesting to see who takes over this season and I am interested to see like every other person.”
Looking forward to Mario Gotze
German hero Mario Gotze will return to the Bundesliga after agreeing to sign for Frankfurt ahead of the new season. Talking about his potential impact, Jay Jay said:
“I might be selfish in saying I want to focus on how Frankfurt does and how Gotze plays this season. It is good to have him back. He is coming back as an experienced player who has played abroad. I am looking forward to how he will fit in and how he will drive the team to more success. He is coming back like a fresh player with something to prove.”
“He is coming to a team that is going to play in the Champions League. Hopefully, he will be able to justify his signing as well,” he added.
The gap between the top two teams
The German Bundesliga is dominated by Bayern Munich and their nearest rivals are Borussia Dortmund who finished second last season too. Talking about the upcoming season of the league and hoping that there is more competition, Okocha said:
“I hope other clubs can compete a bit more this season. It is getting a bit boring having Bayern’s name written on the title every season. Hopefully, they (Borussia Dortmund) will have the belief that they have a good squad to challenge Bayern this season. Other teams also are not sleeping, they will fancy their chances. I hope that will see more competition for the title this season.”
Praise for Jude Bellingham
There are plenty of fabulous youngsters in the Bundesliga. Jay Jay Okocha mentioned Jude Bellingham of BVB as someone who can impress again. He said:
“I like Bellingham, he has shown that he has great talent. The young players that did well last season will carry on from where they left off. It (being third in the race for BVB captaincy) shows how well he (Bellingham) has done. The clubs use captaincy to tie players down and it only happens when the player is doing something right. I like the fact that the club is showing him as well and it will be nice to keep him as long as possible.”