Nigeria’s football legend, Austin Okocha, said his debut goal, an equaliser against French side, Bordeaux, was the most memorable during his time at Ligue 1 giant, Paris Saint-Germain.
Okocha said this in an interview during the unveiling of So Klin as PSG’s official Regional Partner in Lagos State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Okocha was signed by the Parc des Princes from Turkish club Fenerbahce in the summer of 1998 at a record fee of $18 million, making him the most expensive African player at the time.
Okocha, reflecting on his time at PSG, said the transfer to the French giants had successfully raised his worth as a player, an experience he was grateful for.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria: “PSG is a club that really touched my life and raised the bar for me.
“In 1998, I was approached to join PSG and I can say that my former club Fernabache made it difficult to leave.
“The club made it difficult because I just renewed my contract with them for three years.
“So, they didn’t want to release me to PSG.
“For me, I see the contract as a lifetime opportunity and PSG as one of the best clubs in the world.
“So, I was interested and I had to leave for PSG even before the negotiations ended.”
Okocha stated that his goal against Bordeaux remained the most memorable in his four-year stint in French Ligue 1.
He said: “I can remember joining PSG without pre-season trainings and I did not immediately play until the fourth match.
“I was on the bench against Bordeaux and we were losing by 0-1.
“Five minutes to the end of the match, the coach, Alain Giresse, called me to play and I scored a fantastic goal.
“After the goal against Bordeaux, the club knew that I was ready for the challenge.”
Okocha, a household name for his football skills, also said playing for PSG exposed him to playing alongside other great football stars, which helped him to improve.
He said: “While I was at PSG, I played alongside great players like Ronaldinho de Gucho, Nicolas Anelka and the present manager, Mauricio Pochettino, among others.
“I had a great experience at PSG and that is why till today, I am one of the ambassadors of the club and I feel so fortunate.
“The partnership between PSG and the brand, So Klin, is so important because they are both great brands and I can say that the partnership is here to stay.”
NAN also reports that Okocha, during his playing time at PSG, won the 1997-98 Coupe de France.
He played a total of 84 games for PSG and scored 12 goals across all competitions.