Former Liverpool player, John Barnes says Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, a former Nigerian international, is more skillful than the legendary Lionel Messi of Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal.
According to the Liverpool legend, Jay-Jay Okocha is the most naturally gifted player ever because he and Brazil’s Ronaldinho are the only players who could do things during games other players can only do during training.
John Barnes stated this when he featured on SuperSport’s “Premier League GOATs African XI” special to mark the Premier League’s 30th anniversary alongside Thomas Mlambo, and legendary Leeds United player Lucas Radebe.
During the show, the panel chose the all-time top eleven African players that have ever played in the Premier League. The list included Tony Yeboah, Didier Drogba, Mohamed Salah, Jay Jay Okocha, Lucas Radebe, and other African footballers who presently play in the English Premier League as well as those who have in the past.
While commenting on Jay Jay Okocha, John Barnes said, “About Jay-Jay, formerly he was in Paris when he was young and no one knew about him, then he came here in the last part of his career. If he had come as a 19, 20, or 21-year-old it couldn’t have gone any better.
“When you talk of two of the most naturally gifted skillful players, the most skillful player in the world, there are two, Ronaldinho and Jay-Jay Okocha, who is naturally the most skillful player because the things he does on the football field are what you do in the playground, what you do in training you’re not supposed to do in matches. He does it better than Messi, Ronaldo, or anyone in terms of pure skill.
“I don’t think he won much at Bolton but talking about an individual who entertains and who is a fantastic footballer, Jay-jay has to be on it.”
Rant HQ recalls that Jay Jay Okocha played 84 times and scored 12 goals during his four years with Paris Saint-Germain before he joined Premier League club Bolton in 2002.
He spent four years at Bolton where he made 124 Premier League appearances and scored 14 goals.
Even though he was not a regular goalscorer, he often captivated the crowd and won over fans with his incredible dribbling, freekicks, free throw shooting, and playmaking skills.
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