By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Racism is a strong theme in football as Black players do suffer racist chants and attacks by fans of their European clubs and opponents.
Former Super Eagles captain and BBC African Footballer of the Year, Austin Jay Jay Okocha has said that he also suffers the same racist fate in Germany, but he normally dribbles them a lot as a way of paying them back in their own coin.
“I never knew I was black until I got to Germany. The racism was too much that the only way to really repay a racist was to keep on dribbling them”
Okocha joined Eintracht Frankfurt in December 1991, where he linked up with many well-known players including Ghanaian international striker
Tony Yeboah and later Thomas Doll. He continued to shine for the German side, one highlight being a goal he scored against
Karlsruher SC, dribbling in the penalty box and slotting the ball past goalkeeper Oliver Kahn even going past some players twice. The goal was voted Goal of the Season by many football magazines and also voted as 1993 Goal of the Year by viewers of Sportschau, an ARD German TV sports programme. In 1995, Okocha, Yeboah, and Maurizio Gaudino were all involved in a feud with manager Jupp Heynckes, which led to their departure from the club.
Yeboah and Gaudino later left for England, while Okocha stayed until the end of the season when Frankfurt was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, before signing for the Istanbul club Fenerbahçe.
Okocha is a quick and skillful
playmaker, who is considered as the best Nigerian and one of the best African players of all time, Okocha was known for his confidence with the ball, technique, creativity, and dribbling skills, as well as his use of feints, in particular the stepover. Due to his skill, he was described as being ‘so good that they named him twice’, a line immortalised in a terrace chant while Okocha played for Bolton Wanderers.
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