Being Ozil’s idol is a pleasure – Jay-Jay Okocha

Austin Okocha

Former Super Eagles captain Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha has expressed his pleasure at being an inspiration for German player Mesut Ozil who recently signed for Turkish side Fenerbahce.

During his media presentation on Wednesday, Ozil, 32, described Okocha as the star he followed at Fenerbahce and he recalled wearing his no.10 shirt with the Nigerian legend’s name written at the back.

“Among the players who played in Fenerbahce in the past, I liked Jay-Jay Okocha the most. Now I like Dimitrios Pelkas, with whom we played in the same position. He is a very talented player,” the German said.

He also tweeted about his admiration for the Nigeria icon.

In reaction, Okocha, 47, told Goal that he feels honoured to get such recognition from “a world star player.”

“I was very happy. I did not know about the last tweet Mesut Ozil posted,” he said. “It is very pleasing to be the idol of such a world star player, to inspire him.”

Okocha tipped the ex-Arsenal star to boost Fenerbahce’s charge for the Super Lig crown this season. They are two points behind leaders Besiktas.

“Mesut is a world-class player. It is a very good thing (for him) to come to Fenerbahce. I think he will definitely be successful in Fenerbahce,” he said.

Okocha, who spent two years at Fenerbahce with 30 goals registered, said Ozil was toeing a career path similar to his during his playing days by starring for teams in Germany, England and Turkey.