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BREAKING: Nigerian Football Legend, Okocha Arraigned In UK Court For Money Laundering |RN

Nigerian football legend, Jay Jay Okocha

Former Super Eagle player, Austin Jay Jay Okocha has been dragged to Court in Aberdeen, for money laundering. Okocha was seen at court wearing white trainers with smart black trousers, a white shirt and suit jacket on top of a puffer jacket.

He faces one charge in relation to the alleged acquisition, use and possession of the criminal property, and another relating to allegedly concealing, disguising, converting and transferring criminal property. It is understood the appearance relates to incidents alleged to have happened in the north-east in 2015.

The Former PSG and Bolton Wanderers star made no plea during the hearing. (ElombahNews)

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I Learnt Ball Joggling Skills On The Streets, Says Jay Jay Okocha |The Republican News

                                                 Austin Jay Jay Okocha

 

Former Super Eagles captain Austin Okocha is regarded by many as the best dribbler in global football. In this interview with OZIOMA UBABUKOH, the Nigerian legend talks about how he honed his dribbling skills, playing in the Bundesliga and more

What special things do you remember about your growing up years in football?

For me, it was like all I had, all I wanted to be – a professional football player, even though we never used to get a lot of encouragement then. It was all about education, going to school. But you can only be well educated if you are given the right opportunity. For most of us who were from average families, football gave us the opportunity to be able to wine and dine with the elite, and for some of us, that is what eradicated poverty from our families.

You are known worldwide for your football artistry, how did you develop your ball joggling skill?

 I think it was on the streets – the freedom to express yourself on the streets as a child and perfect some of those skills. And then when I turned to a professional, it was all about knowing how to use it for the interest of the team.

Can football be taught, or is it a matter of talent?

To an extent, it can be learnt but you must have talent.

Beyond giving alternative to football lovers in the country, what specific value do you think the sport can bring to the country?

I think it will bring unity because we know that once football is on, we forget our cultural differences. We forget about our depression or whatever that is upsetting us in the country. We always forget whether you are Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba. So I think it will bring unity.

Let us talk about your journey to professional football. How did the transition happen?

It was a coincidence. I went on holidays (to Germany) and then managed to get a trial and from there my professional career started. It was a massive coincidence, which I never thought would happen. It happened so fast and today if I look back, I can only be grateful for that first opportunity.

On the other hand, was the poor Nigerian image a challenge to you while you were playing?

 Not at all. That is why I refused to change because I believe in changing people and not changing who I am. I believe strongly in our culture; my upbringing as well means a lot to me. But it is all about channeling it the right way; showing it to people in the right way and letting them know that in as much as they think that Africa is a poor place, that we have got something good there. For me, I was an advert for African football and for Africa, and that was why I stick, to an extent, to my own kind of game, because I realised that they do not have it and it was a bit late for me to start learning their own trade.

Is the present crop of players doing this?

Things have changed. I always say, ‘Don’t forget your identity; don’t lose your identity, especially if it can be an advantage for you.’ Unless you don’t know how to use it, then you try to use what will work for you. But for me, keeping that African way of playing, and African style of playing, helped me a lot.

In Europe, your talent seemed to have exploded in the Bundesliga. How would you describe the German topflight league?

If you want to be a proper professional, the platform there has got it all to make you a great professional. And if you can succeed in the Bundesliga, you can succeed in any other league in the world.

 There is a particular goal you scored for Eintracht Frankfurt and you tore your jersey…

(Cuts in) It was an amazing goal and I think sometimes, you don’t plan for it. The emotion takes over when you score a fantastic goal; it is like a mission accomplished.

Now you are into football management at the FA level, what unique things did you pick from the Bundesliga?

I am limited to what I can do here because the structure will not permit me to execute what is going on in Germany.

You currently are representing StarTimes to promote the Bundesliga, what does this mean to you?

It means a lot to me. I am glad that StarTimes is now able to bring it to our people and at an affordable rate. What intrigued me is the fact that they are reaching out to the normal people. What do you think this will mean to the society, football lovers and to Nigeria as a nation?

I think it will give them more options because they have been promoting the premier league for the past decade now. Most of us who have had very successful careers started in Germany. I believe the Bundesliga is a top league.  (Punchng.com)

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Jay Jay Okocha: How My Career Began |The Republican News

Ade Ojeikere Jay Jay Okocha: How my career started

• Says it was a coincidence  • Replaced his elder brother who was invited for trials

Last week Friday inside the conference hall of Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Austin Okocha interacted with selected journalists at a forum organised by Startimes to celebrtae the German Bundesliga,
Ade Ojeikere captured all that transpired in this recorded question and answer session.

OKOCHA: “It was a coincidence because I wasn’t scouted by anyone, I was on a visit and I’m so glad that Jonathan is here because then I went to his house as well because it was about less than 10 kilometres away from Borussia Neunkirchen and he was then playing for FC Saarbrücken, I think after late Okwaraji, he was the first Nigerian to play professional in Germany and I must say that they started paving the way for us and of course we continued on that trend. Like I mentioned earlier, it was a coincidence because my senior brother was actually the one invited for trials and because he was then playing for the National team, the National team coach had promised to take him to holland and I took that opportunity you know, to go to Germany, not for trials but for holidays because Germany had just won the World Cup 1990 and since there was an invite, I said if they could just change the name and put my name, I might as well just take that opportunity and visit Germany. But it happened so that the address I had was that of his friend Binebi Numa, who was playing for Borussia Neunkirchen at that time and ofcourse he was going to training and I followed him. As a football freak, I had my football boots with me everywhere I go. So I went to ask the coach if I could train with them and he said Yes and for me, the rest is history because from holiday, I ended up starting my career with Borussia Neunkirchen.

ON HIS DRIBBLING SKILLS
J.J: I think the secret is basically the streets. I didn’t go to any academy , then we were on the streets playing football because of the love of the game and because there was nothing like playstation, all we had was football and the streets, no trainers, no managers, no boots, no jerseys, no nothing, basically we were just out there expressing ourselves and trying out new things because there is nobody to shout on you even if you make mistakes or whatever so we had the possibility of trying to improve ourselves and what we can do we do with football and for me I think that is where the dribbling skills came from.

ON HIS FIRST MATCH AND DEBUT GOAL IN THE BUNDESLIGA
It was a surprise for me because when I was signed by Frankfurt, I signed a three-year deal, one year Amateur contract and two years professional. The whole idea was for me to train 1 year with the B team and I will graduate from there. It happened that some of the first team players were injured and I was invited to make up the numbers for a game, I aslo started from the bench in that friendly and managed to get like half an hour in the second half and I impressed the manager and he had to arrange another friendly the next day and said that I should come be a part of it and he threw me in from the start. That happened on a Wednesday, after the friendly, the manager said that I shouldn’t go back to train with the second team and that I should come train with the first team on Thursday.
After the training on Thursday, the coach made his selection for the team that will be travelling to Bremen on Friday for a game that will hold on Saturday and my name was included.
I was given the first team kits and when I got home, I showed it to my brother who was staying with me then, he was surprised and asked if I had stolen the kits (laughs)… I responded by saying No, I did not steal it, it was given to me by the manager who said, I will be travelling with them and my brother said ‘Goodluck’.
I travelled with the team on Friday and on Saturday morning, the coach made his selection and I was in the starting XI.
So that was when it dawned on me that this is the opportunity that I have been waiting for, it’s either I take it or I head back home. I had a conviction in me that I was good enough and also mentally strong enough to accept the challenge. That was how my professional career started because after that game, I never went back to the second team.
BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE BUNDESLIGA AND EPL, HOW WOULD YOU RATE IT?
Well, I will put it this way, they are both very competitive but for me Bundesliga is more complete. I think it is quite unfortunate that the Nigerians didn’t get to see the Bundesliga early enough, especially a lot back then as opposed to the EPL and it now appears as if we are all addicted to the EPL. I can tell you that it is not a fluke that Germany are the current world champions and besides, 14 players from the World Cup winning team are still plying their trade now in the Bundesliga. It shows how strong the league and for me, their youth developmental programme is second to none. The amount of investment they have put into the programme is unbelievable and whether you like it or not, a lot of countries have adopted that kind of youth programme.
Yes I said, the German league is more competitive because it’s highly entertaining, you get more goals, hardly will you see a game finish goalless. And in terms of technique and tactics, they are well sound. The EPL on its own part has changed a bit recently and that can be attributed to the presence of foreign managers, the EPL has always been straightforward – Quickest way to the goal and I can testify to that fact because I played for Bolton and we had an english manager.
It is not that it is mind but it’s really about the knowledge of the game. So for me, starting my career in Germany and having played in the Bundesliga and also the opportunity to play in other leagues, I can conveniently say that it was what the Bundesliga gave me that made me to succeed in other leagues. So, it was a lot easier for me to play in France, Turkey, England later on because of that foundation I got in Germany.
As I said before, I didn’t go to any academy in Nigeria, my academy was in Germany. As I have always said, I went to Germany as a boy and left the place as a man because I never knew that training will always go on whether it is raining or snowing unlike what we do in Nigeria. (laughs).
That foundation I got in terms of discipline, dedication, even your lifestyle changes. Bundesliga made me realise that if you want to be a good footballer, you must dedicate your entire life to it because that’s your profession.

ON HIS GOAL AGAINST OLIVER KHAN
Well, thanks to you guys, he doesn’t like me. The media has made it so big that he takes it personal. It wasn’t personal for me though because I was just doing my job. I never meant to hold on to the ball that long, it just happened that he was at the receiving end but I am grateful for that goal because people can still identify me with something in Germany and that’s my greatest joy because I know that I haven’t been forgotten. Now, I can remember. His name is Horst Brand.

HORST BRAND?
He’s not that popular but the fact that he allowed me train with his team, that was a big step for me because if he hadn’t given me such an opportunity, that could have been the end of my football career in Germany or wherever.
His name is Horst Brand, I can never forget the name, he accepted me like his own son because it’s rare to find a good coach that will take a young player to his house for the weekend and he makes you to feel at home and that was what he gave me and made me realise that I am wanted again.

AFRICANS IN THE BUNDESLIGA
A lot of Africans have benefited from the league for well over 25 years at least to the extent that a Ghanaian even featured for the national team at some point. It shows that we are well accepted now in Germany even though at the beginning it was tough because the number of foreign players in a team used to be very limited. But now the new generation of African players have done really well after us.

ON LEGENDS TOUR
Well, I want to say a big thank you Startimes because you are the reason why our people can now access the Bundesliga. We wish you had come earlier, Jonathan and I are jealous of this new generation, things have changed since our time. Thank you for taking the steps of showing our people how good the Bundesliga is.
I can only say that I am honoured to be a part of this and a big thank you to Bundesliga and Startimes for having me on this. (Punchng.com)

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