Maja sets Nigeria target, names Okocha his idol

Maja sets Nigeria target, names Okocha his idol
Nigerian legend Jay-Jay Okocha

by Staff Reporter

Monday Jul 27, 2020. 13:00

Nigeria international Josh Maja is hoping to establish himself in the Super Eagles team under head coach Gernot Rohr.

The England-born winger is a newcomer in the Nigerian national team having made his international debut in September 2019 against Ukraine.

Maja impressed in his maiden full season in the French Ligue 1 as he netted six times in 22 games for FC Girondins de Bordeaux in the 2019/20 campaign.

This was after the 21-year-old player had joined Bordeaux from English club Sunderland midway through the 2018/19 season.

“Of course, playing in one of Europe’s top five leagues and performing well will improve my chances [of international selection],” Maja told BBC.

“I’ve settled in well since I joined [from Sunderland in January 2019]. I’ve adapted to the playing style and culture of the league and I’m hoping to play more games in the future. It’s a great experience in a top league.

“The Nigerian team has always had quality, but now there are a lot of young talents playing, so the future is very bright for us.”

The former Manchester City academy player named legendary Nigerian midfielder Augustine ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha as his idol.

“Hopefully the opportunity comes to play and help them make history. Playing on an international stage was a dream of mine and to represent my country and make my family proud,” he added.

“I’m familiar with my roots. I went to Nigeria a few times when I was young, and in the next few years, I’ll be going again.

“Okocha was a big icon and an example to many players, even outside of Nigeria. He had lots of qualities and performed well in the Premier League.”

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