Nigeria legend Sunday Oliseh has discussed how many of his teammates during their time with the Super Eagles needed help to stop Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha from dribbling too much.
The 47-year-old played alongside Okocha for the Super Eagles, and Oliseh has further said he was the only player the Bolton star could listen to when his dribbling became too much for the rest of the squad.
Oliseh said during the Athlete’s Podcast, Special Delivery with Emmanuel Babayaro and Matthew Edafe as quoted by Completesports:
With Jay-Jay, most people would say he was a difficult player to play with, as teammates, as defensive players.
But I personally had a way, an understanding with Jay-Jay that made it easy for me to play with him. There was one particular game, I’ll share a story with you. We were playing and Jay-Jay was doing his normal thing and Nigerian fans were going crazy.
In our team, as much as we disagreed, every player was a king in their position. We had match winners – most of the players could win games but if someone did something bad in the group, the defenders always tell me, ‘Sunday tell am o’.
They knew I was the only one who could say to Jay-Jay that ‘my man, release the ball, and Jay-Jay would release.
Oliseh further revealed one incident where defender Taribo West got angry with Okocha.
There was one particular game, he was doing it and we lost the ball. And the ball was coming and Taribo [West] was going crazy about him.
And he lost the ball one more time, and I told him ‘hey my man, I’m tired of running. And the next time he went on dribbling and lost the ball. I left the man. I let the opponent pass and they almost scored. Taribo went crazy, he crossed ahead of me and I had to grab him. Don’t joke with Taribo. He wants to win. He’s fanatical about winning.
Oliseh played 63 international matches and scored three goals for Nigeria, and played at the World Cups of 1994 and 1998. He also participated in the Olympic gold medal-winning team of 1996.