Legendary Nigerian midfielder Austin Okocha has been celebrated around the World as he turns 50 on Monday August 14, 2023.
The Federation of International Football Associations – FIFA, Confederation of African Football – CAF, French Ligue One Club PSG, Nigeria Football Federation – NFF, Bolton Wanderers and fans across the world celebrated Okocha for his maestoric career as he mounts the fifth layer.
” One of football’s greatest magicians 🪄.
“So good they named him twice, Happy 50th Birthday Jay-Jay Okocha! 🇳🇬🎂.,” World Football Governing body FIFA wrote on Twitter, in celebration of the Former Super Eagles captain.
CAF in a short message wrote on Twitter ” Happy Birthday to Nigeria’s legend Jay-Jay Okocha! 🦅🥳.”
From PSG who the midfielder once represented: ”Happy birthday to the magician, Jay-Jay Okocha! 🪄.”
Back home, the Nigeria Football Federation – NFF in their message wrote; ”Happy birthday to former
midfielder and captain Augustine ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha who turns 50 today.
“Hearty cheers Jay Jay🍾🥂.
“So good, they named you twice!“
For English Club who Okocha captained to Cup success in their glory days under Big Sam, the message was; ”Happy birthday Jay Jay Okocha.”
During his playing days, Jay Jay Okocha represented the Super Eagles of Nigeria, featuring significantly as Nigeria won the 1994 AFCON in Tunisia and also featured at the 1994 World Cup.
The Atlanta 1996 Olympic gold medal winning Nigeria Dream team was blessed with the performances of Austin Okocha as they stunned the World.
A member of Nigeria’s squad to the France 1998 and Korea/Japan 2002 World Cups where he captained a youthful Super Eagles team.
For the clubs he represented , Okocha started off at Enugu Rangers International in Nigeria before travelling to Germany where he turned out for Borussia Neurnkirchen, FC Saarbucken before Eintracht Frankfurt came calling.
Okocha went on to represent Fenerbahce, PSG, Bolton Wanderers, Hull City and Qatar SC before calling time on a career that yielded individual accolades like seven-time Nigerian Footballer of the Year awards, BBC African Footballer of the Year in 2003 and 2004. Premier League Player of the Month for November in 2003. 2004 AFCON Most Valuable Player and Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year 2004-2005 season.
Okocha retired from active football in 2008 and is enjoying life as a pundit with regular appearances at International football engagements in recognition of his place as a legend in the round leather game.