- El Hadji Diouf claims Nigeria’s Okocha would have been the best player of all time if he was not African
- Diouf and Okocha were team-mates at Bolton Wanderers between 2004 and 2006
- The Senegalese legend refers to the former Eagles captain as ‘African Pele’
Two-time African footballer of the year El hadji Diouf has claimed that Nigeria’s Austin Jay Jay Okocha would have been the world’s best player of all time if he was not African.
The Senegalese legend and the ex-Super Eagles captain were teammates at Bolton Wanderers between 2004 and 2006 before Okocha moved to Qatar.
Okocha who featured for Bolton between 2002 and 2006 scored 14 goals in his 124 appearances including a famous strike against West Ham United which was voted team goal of the season.
Jay Jay Okocha was a household name among Bolton fans as they went on to print his name on shirts with the inscription “so good they named him twice”.
Diouf arrived the Reebok stadium in 2004 and then went on to score a total of 24 goals for the club with Okocha captaining the side.
The pair were sensational for the Premier League club at that time as they helped the club to their first cup final in nine years where they finished runners-up in the 2004 Football League Cup to Middlesbrough.
While listing his best eleven team mates, Diouf also chose ex-Arsenal forward Nicolas Anelka as his top 9.
“Behind the striker, I would put the maestro, the best player in the world, the best player of all time if he was not African. Everyone’s idol. The African Pelé,” Diouf told France Football.
Jay Jay Okocha retired in 2008 at the age of 34.
El Hadji Diouf named his dream XI.
1. Tony Sylva (goalkeeper – ex-Lille, Trabzonspor, Monaco & Senegal)
2. Omar Daf (right-back – ex-Sochaux, Brest & Senegal)
3. Abdoulaye Faye (central defender – ex-Bolton Wanderers, Stoke City, RC Lens, West Ham, Hull & Senegal)
4. Pape Malick Diop (central defender – ex-Lorient, Guingamp & Senegal)
5. Ricardo Gardiner (left-back – ex-Bolton & Jamaica)
6. Papa Bouba Diop (central midfielder – ex-Fulham, Portsmouth, West Ham, Birmingham, Senegal)
7. Camel Meriem (central midfielder – ex-Sochaux, Bordeaux, Monaco, Apollon Limassol)
8. Henri Camara (right midfielder – ex-Sedan, Wolves, Panetolikos, Wigan)
9. Khalilou Fadiga (left midfielder – ex-Club Brugge, Auxerre, Senegal)
10. Jay-Jay Okocha (attacking midfielder – ex-Frankfurt, PSG, Bolton & Nigeria)
11. Nicolas Anelka (striker – ex-Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea & France)
READ ALSO: NAIJ.com upgrades to Legit.ng
However, Legit.ng earlier reported that Adrian San Miguel, Liverpool goalkeeper, has chosen former Super Eagles winger Finidi George as the best Nigerian player he has ever seen, snubbing Austin Jay Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu.
The 33-year-old goalkeeper revealed this via is verified Twitter handle where he also ignored Diego Maradona to pick Lionel Messi as the best Argentine player he has ever seen.
He further sidelined Pele and chose Ronaldo de Lima as the best to come from Brazil while for England he chose Steven Gerrard and then Andrés Iniesta for Spain.
Nigeria still needs Enyeama, Maradona was my toughest opponent - Rufai | Legit TV