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Jay-Jay Okocha: When top clubs offer you contract, they see it as doing you a favour

by NaijNaira
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Jay-Jay Okocha When top clubs offer you contract, they see it as doing you a favour

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Jay-Jay Okocha, former captain of the Super Eagles, has revealed why he did not play for top clubs or win the CAF Player of the Year award during his career.

Despite being considered one of Africa’s greatest football players, Okocha played for clubs in the Bundesliga, Turkish Süper Lig, French Ligue 1, English Premier League, EFL Championship, and Qatar Stars League before retiring.

Okocha expressed his desire to have won the African Footballer of the Year award but believed his club choices may have hindered his chances.

He explained that playing for top clubs was challenging for African players due to the relatively low wages offered.

Okocha emphasized the importance of securing higher wages, opting to join clubs willing to offer him more lucrative contracts.

He had to decline offers from big clubs because of the wage disparity, as these clubs often saw signing African players as a favor and did not offer substantial financial packages.

“Maybe I was in the wrong club at that time. It is one award I would have loved to win; 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,” Okocha said in an interview on Arise TV, monitored by NaijNaira.com

“That is why I went for clubs that are ready to pay me higher; I go for the higher bidder. 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 football contracts overseas.”

However, Okocha highlighted the positive shift in recent years, as African players, including Nigerians, now command larger contracts abroad.

Despite his talents and a near-20-year career, Okocha only won the Atatürk Cup with Fenerbahce, as well as the Trophée des Champions and UEFA Intertoto Cup with Paris Saint-Germain.

He did, however, win the BBC African Footballer of the Year award twice.

This article was updated 4 months ago

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