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Wrong club choice denied me caf award – Okocha

Former Super Eagles captain Austin Okocha has admitted that his club choice may have cost him the opportunity to win African Footballer of the Year during his playing days.Information Guide Nigeria

Okocha, who played for Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, PSG, Bolton Wanderers, Qatar SC, and Hull City before retiring in 2008 at the age of 34, was the African Footballer of the Year runner-up in 1998 and third twice in 2003 and 2004.

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He was also a member of Nigeria’s ‘golden age’ of football giants, including Sunday Oliseh, Nwankwo Kanu, Daniel Amokachi, and Finidi George. He last represented Nigeria in 2006 and played 75 times for the Super Eagles, scoring 14 goals.

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Okocha stated that he chose to join clubs that provided more compensation over top clubs that offered less lucrative contracts.

“I would have loved to win the African Footballer of the Year during my days,” Okocha said in an interview on Arise TV.

“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.NYSC Portal

“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.

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

Okocha, who helped Nigeria win Olympic gold in 1996, was also named BBC African Footballer of the Year twice, in 2003 and 2004.JAMB Result

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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