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.