Nigerian football legend Jay Jay Okocha has revealed that one of his big regrets was a failure to win the coveted CAF Player of the Year prize. Okocha famously finished as runner-up in 1998 and 2004 behind Mustapha Hadji and Samuel Eto’o despite being favourite to win the award on both occasions and the 1994 African champion has revealed getting recognition from many other quarters made up for missing out on the coveted prize.
Ever so modest, Okocha also hinted that the reason for his failure to win the award was probably the plethora of quality footballers in his generation. “My generation had a lot of great footballers and the competition was very high. I feel privileged to have played in the same period as some of these greats and if I did not win the award, it is because someone else did,” Okocha said. “Saying I don’t regret not winning the CAF Player of the Year award will be a lie but a bigger regret is that I cannot come out of retirement to try again!” he joked.
Jay Jay Okocha was speaking at a fans’ interaction forum hosted by Western Union, Global Partners of the Europa League, in Frankfurt.