Okocha Beats Kanu to be Greatest Nigerian Footballer

Super Eagles legend, Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha has beaten former teammate, Nwankwo Kanu to be named the country’s greatest player of all time in a recent poll of 13 key national teams.

Okocha Beats Kanu to be Greatest Nigerian Footballer

As the debate continues as to who could be the greatest player to ever wear the famous green shirt, Okocha beat former Arsenal striker, Nwankwo Kanu in ESPN’s recent poll.

Of the total votes, Jay Jay Okocha claimed 48% while Kanu had 33%. Former goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama and late Rashidi Yekini are the other two players who made the cut as they settled for 11% and 8% respectively.

Surprisingly, Okocha never won the African Best Player of the Year award despite his immense talents on the field of play.

“So good he was named twice,” Austin Jay-Jay Okocha has received several praises from football greats over the years.

Okocha Beats Kanu to be Greatest Nigerian Footballer

Lionel Messi, Pele, Zinedine Zidane, Andres Iniesta, and Maldini are the other high-profile legends who won for their respective countries.

Below is a complete list of the winners from all 13 countries.

Greatest Players of All-Time by Country according to ESPN Poll

  1. Argentina: Lionel Messi polled 65% of the vote to Diego Maradona’s 32%.
  2. Brazil: Pele earned an enormous 79% to Ronaldo’s 19%.
  3. United States: Landon Donovan got 45% to Clint Dempsey’s 28%
  4. England: Sir Bobby Charlton’s 56%, Bobby Moore (26%).
  5. Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo unsurprisingly won with 86% Eusebio got 10%.
  6. France: Zinedine Zidane 65%, Thierry Henry 21%.
  7. Germany: Franz Beckenbauer 63% to Gerd Muller’s 23%.
  8. Italy: Paolo Maldini (54%) and in second place, Roberto Baggio (26%).
  9. Netherlands: Johan Cruyff got 71% with second-placed Arjen Robben a far second on 16%.
  10. Spain: Andres Iniesta polled 41% with former Barca teammate, Xavi on 24%.
  11. Mexico: Rafa Marquez got 33% and Hugo Sanchez on 53%.
  12. Nigeria: Jay-Jay Okocha won with 48% and Nwankwo Kanu second on 33%.
  13. Australia: Tim Cahill polled 72% of the votes to Harry Kewell’s 19%.

Do you think this victory is deserved for the midfield maestro, Jay-Jay?

Joshua Ugbedeojo

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