How Okocha became my idol - Mario Gomez

German Bundesliga By: Ayodeji Tunde | 17/01/2017


Germany striker, Mario Gomez, has sensationally picked soccer legend Austin Jay-Jay Okocha as his idol even as he gave an inside brief on how his career was positively affected by the former Nigeria Captain.

Writing on The Players' Tribune, Gomez talked about his career in football and the former Nigeria international had a huge mention for his influence.

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The 31-year old said: I didn’t like watching football on TV. It was always so boring to me. Why sit in front of the screen, when you could go outside and play the game for real?

“Papi, let’s go outside!” I’d say, tugging on his arm. “Let’s play!” One evening when I was about seven or eight, he had finally had enough. Instead of shooing me away, he sat me down right next to him.

“I want you to see this, Mario. Just watch.”

“Nooooo! It’s boring.”

"My father pointed at the television, “Look! There! Right now!” When I looked up, there was an Eintracht Frankfurt player on the screen.

"He dribbled the ball around the other team’s goalkeeper, then around a defender, and then around another defender - just toying with them - until he chipped it easily into the goal.

“Woahhhhhh,” I said. “What did he just do?”

“See?” my father said. “That’s Jay-Jay Okocha. And there’s no one else like him.”

"From that moment, I dreamed of playing like Jay-Jay. He was my idol. The way he moved the ball - he was like an artist. He did things with a ball I couldn’t even imagine.

"And after seeing that dribble and that goal, I watched the highlights with my father every Sunday. I even started watching matches with him as well.