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Crespo: Okocha My Best Nigerian Player, Taribo The Scariest

Crespo: Okocha My Best Nigerian Player, Taribo The Scariest

By Bamidele Boluwaji:

Former Argentina striker Hernán Crespo has told Completesportsnigeria.com that ex-Super Eagles captain Austin Jay Jay Okocha remains the most impressive footballer among Nigerian players he came up against during his playing days.

Speaking at the Heineken session organized in Lagos on Saturday before the UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, Crespo who was brought along with ex-Nigerian players like Mutiu Adepoju, Austin Eguavoen and Taribo West to answer some questions about his experience in the competition, described West as a scary defender during his playing days.

“I have played with some Nigerian players and I have featured against some Nigerian players but Jay Jay Okocha remains my most impressive player among them,” said ex-Chelsea and Inter Milan star Crespo, who played 64 games and scored 35 goals for Argentina between 1995 and 2007.

“I know Celestine Babayaro, we played together at Chelsea, I have also played against Finidi George and Taribo West.

“Among these players, I will say Taribo is my most scary defender, very strong and tough on the ball. But it was a good experience to know all these great players.

“We met several times in the Italian league and on each occasion, I knew that Taribo was a dangerous defender many strikers were scared of.”

Crespo, who played 46 games and scored 10 goals for Parma between 2010 and 2012 before he retired, also praised Nigeria’s feat at the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games where the Dream Team went all the way to win the gold medal.

That Nigerian team coached by Jo Bonfere defeated the Argentine team with Crespo 3-2 in the final to rule the world.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • Bestsports. 6 months ago

    BY DESMOND EKWUEME
    HOW DID WE MISS THIS BOY?
    ●Furious Rohr Asks Staff
    ●Compares Nwakali To Mikel
    ●As Player’s Debate Rages
    Impeccable sources close to Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr say the man is furious over the inability of his backroom staff and aides to bring to his notice the huge talent of 18-year old MVV Maastricht of Holland loanee forward from Arsenal, Kelechi Nwakali who stole the show following his scintillating display and television goal in the friendly against La Liga giants and Europa League champions, Atletico Madrid on Tuesday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium Uyo.
    “Since Tuesday after the game Rohr has been asking us about Kelechi Nwakali”, begins one of the backroom staff. “He cannot believe that such a huge talent is not part of his provisional list. He keeps asking us, how did we miss him?”, my source added.
    I further gathered that Rohr is just trying to be himself and not to be seen to be under pressure or indecisive otherwise he would have changed his mind by including Nwakali in the provisional list. According to one of my sources, Rohr was told about Kelechi but there was immense pressure on him then from some people in the NFF which led to his crying out and insisting on keeping Tunde Adelakun with him as contact person.
    Says my source, “I actually told him (Rohr) about Kelechi long before now but an influential figure in the NFF who has since left blocked the boy’s call up on ground that he (NFF bigwig) had an axe to grind with Emmanuel Amunike said to be very close to the boy. Amunike selected and appointed him captain of world conquering Golden Eaglets of 2015 class. More so, Rohr was under pressure then on the players he was inviting. We have made him understand that we actually mentioned Kelechi to him and the boy was actually invited on one occasion but the circumstances surrounding the team them made it almost impossible to pay any attention in the boy.”
    Yours sincerely gathered that Rohr said, “This boy plays like our captain (John Mikel Obi). They have almost same style and physical appearance. Their similarities are so identical. They hold the ball same way with creative touch, skills and sense. They both motivate others and dictate the pace and tone of play with their approaches. They play like leaders. How did we miss this boy?”
    Missing the World Cup is just by stroke of fate for Nwakali whose elder sibling Chidebere also had a brilliant game against Atletico Madrid. Chidebere was in the class of 2013 Golden Eaglets which had Kelechi Iheanacho. Some will sneak into the squad at the eleventh hour like Simeon Nwankwo of Italian side Crotone and Junior Lokosa of Kano Pillars without being part of the qualifiers yet some would miss the party despite getting opportunities to feature in the qualifiers or international friendlies leading to the World Cup.
    Perhaps if the game against Atletico Madrid had been played before the release of the provisional list, Nwakali brothers may have been included alongside one or two others from that friendly. Recall that 19-year old Bartholomew Ogbeche got into Adeboye Onigbinde’s Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup squad after that bicycle kick in the friendly against Paraguay.
    FOR SURE THE THE NWAKALI BROTHERS, USMAN, MUSA MOHAMMED , AZUBUIKE OKECHUKWU AND SADIK USMAN ALL HAVE A FUTURE IN NIGERIA SUPER EAGLES AFTER WORLD CUP. BUT COACH ROHR, IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO OBI MIKEL NKO? WHO IS YOUR QUALITY REPLACEMENT? EXPERIENCE TEAMS WILL SIMPLY TAKE GET HIM DOWN LIKE KANU WAS KNOCKED OUT OF KOREA JAPAN WORLD CUP AND EVEN SALAH MOHAMMED LAST NIGHT. IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN THEN YOU PLAN TO FAIL. NFF AND ROHR OVER TO YOU. WE NOW KNOW NIGERIA’S BEST PLAYERS AIN’T GOING TO THE WORLD CUP. CERTAINLY A CONTINUATION OF WORLD CUP JAMBOREE.

    • Nwakali played just one game and he’s already Nigeria’s best player?! Come on… How come he’s still a loanee then? why haven’t Arsenal called him to the 1st team? Why wasn’t he among the best 10 young players in the Dutch league?
      the answer is that Nwakali was only able to express himself so well because the ATM players didn’t know about him. The moment they recognized him as a threat, you would have seen that his chances became limited.
      please give the boy time to mature. Experiance tells us that he’s obviously not ready yet, just like Jayjay wasn’t exactly ready for the 1994 world cup

      • Hanif 6 months ago

        Well said brother. 

        He is still learning ,
        And wit such display he is sure to receive attention afta d mundial