Sunday Jul 19, 2020. 13:00
Legendary Nigerian midfielder Augustine ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha says he regrets not winning the CAF African Footballer of the Year award.
The retired attacking midfielder is widely considered to be one of the best African footballers of all-time having had an 18-year career as a professional player.
Okocha, who won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and Olympic Games with Nigeria during his playing days, admitted that he did not do enough to win the prestigious accolade.
“And if I’m to say, I’ll say, I regret not winning the African Footballer of the year,” Okocha said on Mastercard.
“But of course, if you look back, there’s always a time that you say ‘Oh maybe you could’ve done a bit better than you did’.
A quick, talented, and skilful playmaker, Okocha is considered by certain pundits as the best Nigerian footballer ever.
The former Fenerbahce and Bolton Wanderers player was the CAF African Footballer of the Year runner-up in 1998 behind Morocco’s Mustapha Hadji.
“I thought I did enough to have won it because it was not a fluke that I won the BBC player of the Year three years in a row and not managed to win that CAF award,” he continued.
“But I mean maybe it was not meant to be. Well, I think I don’t want to sound greedy, but I’ve had an amazing career, I never thought I would make it that big.”
Okocha also finished third in the race for the CAF African Footballer of the Year award in 2003 and 2004.