Former Nigerian footballer JayJay Okocha hailed Harambee stars captain Victor Wanyama as an African player that is doing a lot to the Continent.
The Totenham holding midfielder has an obligation of guiding Kenya national team to the coming African Nations Championships next year (CHAN 2018) and to the Continental Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 basing on his fine display at club level.
Okocha was speaking at Barclays headquarters in a Kenya Open Golf opening ceremony on Thursday as the veteran footballer noted out that Wanyama is a player that young players should emulate for them to prosper in the game.
“Victor Wanyama has pure talent and ability that young African footballers should emulate. He is doing the continent proud as his influence is felt all over the continent not only in Kenya,”Okocha said.
Okocha also hinted on the new CAF’s presidency hoping that change will be seen in African Football to take the continent a notch higher in the game. He said that structures and platforms should be put in place to develop young talented footballers from an early age as he himself started playing soccer at a tender age of 15 years in a Nigerian club.
He also passed regards to the out gone CAF president Issa Hayatou for being the first CAF boss to bring the World Cup tournament to the African soil. Hayatou was beaten by Ahmed Ahmed of Madagascar to the helm in the concluded CAF elections.
The retired Supa eagles attacking midfielder played for a number of football clubs in Europe such as PSG of France, Hull City, Bolton Wanderers and Fernaberche of Turkey.
He made his first debut in Nigerian national team in 1993 until in 2006 when he retired from international football having played 75 matches for Supa Eagles and managing to score 14 goals in his career.
Meanwhile Okocha never won the African Player of Year award, becoming arguably the best player never to win the award despite coming second twice in 1998.
He did however win the inaugural BBC African Footballer of the Year and the successive one, becoming the only player to retain the award and win it more than once.
In 2004 he was listed in football legend Pelé‘s FIFA 100 (a list of the greatest 125 living players of all time). In 2007 he was voted number 12 on the greatest African footballers of the past 50 years list, on a poll conducted by CAF to coincide with their 50th anniversary.