Former Nigeria international Austin Okocha has revealed that he would have loved to play with Brazil and world most expensive player Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain.
Okocha signed for PSG in a then African record transfer reported to be worth £14 million and spent four years there (1998-2002).
Neymar left Barcelona for PSG for a world record £200m on a five-year-deal during the last transfer window.
Okocha played alongside two-time FIFA World Player of the Year and 2002 FIFA World Cup winner Ronaldinho at the French club.
The former Bolton Wanderers star, who played 84 games and scored 12 goals for PSG after moving from Turkish club Fenerbahçe, stated that it would have been an honour to play alongside Neymar.
“The price tag shouldn’t be my business,” the 44-year-old former Super Eagles captain told CNN Sports.
“It would be an honour to be in the same dressing room as a player like Neymar.
“It would be in my interest to have great players around me because, if you’re playing with good players, it makes your job a lot easier.”
Okocha backed Neymar’s decision to quit Barcelona for PSG.
“He had a good life in Barcelona, playing with a good team,” Okocha added. “But then he realised he wants to achieve more, he wants to be his own person and for him to achieve that, he has to move.
“Luckily for him, he moved to a very formidable team — a team that is so ambitious — and also trying to get to the next level. It’s a perfect move for him.
“I am jealous of the players now. But it’s always good to know you were amongst the best during your time and that’s all you can hope for.
“I don’t look at what the market is today because that was our mission — to get football to another level — to open doors for the next generation. It gives me a lot of joy to see where football is now.”
Okocha played down the penalty issue between Neymar and Edinson Cavani saying it is something that will be handled within the club.
“It’s a team sport but every player’s ego will kick in at a certain point,” Okocha said.
“Cavani has been taking penalties but I think it’s negotiable. I see it as a healthy competition. It will be easily sorted out in the dressing room. They will talk about it. It happens every week but behind the scenes.”
“I’d be lying if I said I never had any issues with players but at some point you have to stamp your authority because if you’re good at taking free-kicks, for example, they should let you take them.”
And on talks that big transfers is ruing football, Okocha said: “I think it’s good for the game,” Okocha posited. “If we look at American football or basketball, nobody is complaining about the wages. It’s a global sport and it should be globally recognized and the wages should reflect that.”
“It’s a tough job. You give up your life. You give up your youth to become the best that you can. It’s a very short career so whatever you can make within that period is what you have to invest to be able to have a good life.”