Titles & Honours (Awards)
3rd BEST AFRICAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR, 1998
Mustapha Hadji of Morocco beat my team mate, Jay Jay Okocha & Myself to this prestigious title.
Inaugurated in 1992,the African Footballer of the Year award is presented to the best African footballer each year by C.A.F.
Past winners of this prestigious award have been: Abedi Pelé,George Weah, Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amuneke,Didier Drogba,Kanu Nwankwo & Frédéric Kanouté just to name a few.!
1994 AFRICAN NATIONS CUP
At the time, neither had Nigeria ever qualified to the FIFA World Cup, hence it was a historic event for nation and especially, then members of the Super Eagles as Nigeria experienced 1994 ( Nigeria not only won the 1994 African Cup of Nations but was headed to its maiden World Cup)
Not only was being part of the historic team that was taking Nigeria to its first ever world cup a lifetime achievement for us, it was for our families and our entire nation too.
In April 1994 we started our Nations Cup campaign against Gabon with a 3-0 victory. Rashidi Yekini (R.I.P) scored the first goal of the Tournament for us off an assist from me.
Incidentally, come final day vs. Zambia, I was blessed again to give the assist once again, but this time to Amunike Emmanuel to score the winning goal that won us the title!
We were crowned African champions, winning the title in a world acclaimed emphatic manner and this ushered in Nigeria as a world soccer force to reckon with.
Voted the player of the tournament by the renowned and influential “France Football” Magazine who covered the whole Tournament was an icing on the cake for me.
1996 ATLANTA OLYMPICS GOLD MEDALLIST.
Being an integral part of the historic Nigerian team that represented Nigeria and won GOLD at the Olympics in Atlanta, U.S.A was life changing.
Prior to our generation of players, Nigeria had rarely qualified for the Olympics let alone win a match at the Olympics!
We had the honour of Eliminating major world powerhouses in Soccer like Brazil,Argentina,Mexico,Japan and Hungary on the way to winning the Olympics Gold!
Our opponents in the final were Argentina and it took a 3-2 victory to win the Olympic gold medal .
What a feeling it was to hold the Olympics Gold and thinking back now still gives so much joy I cannot quantify!
AFRO-ASIA CUP CHAMPIONS 1995.
The Afro-Asian cup is played and based on two games between the champions of Africa and Asia . The 1995 final featured Nigeria (for Africa) Vs. Uzbekistan (for Asia).
In Uzbekistan we managed a win 3-1 and was voted player of the match in Uzbekistan. We won 1-0 in Nigeria which made us the 1995 Afro-Asia Cup champions for Nigeria.
TOURNAMENTS For Nigeria (In Summary)
AFRICAN NATIONS CUP 1994 – CHAMPIONS
2000 – Silver Medallist
2002 – Bronze Medallist
Confederations cup (In Riyadh Saudi Arabia)
2005 AFRO ASIAN Cup 2005 WINNER
1996 Atlanta OLYMPICS- GOLD MEDALIST
1998 WORLD CUP
1994, 1998 AND 2002 WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION.
In all I represented my beloved Nigeria 63 Times as an international.
AJAX AMSTERDAM (1997-1999)
Ajax of the 1990’s was as great is it could get in world top flight soccer. With Ajax I was blessed to be part of the team that won the national league and the cup (KNVB Beker) in 1998 (the Double in One Year)
In 1999 we managed to win the KNVB Beker (FA Cup) Ajax is one of the most prestigious and historic clubs in the world .
In the 1997-1998 season “We did the double”, winning the league championship and the cup. We were able to achieve this mainly due to the immensely talented players we had in the team, the great team spirit that existed in the dressing room and thanks to the tactical and physical contribution from the then Coach, Morten Olsen, his technical crew and the club management.
Everyone wanted to win. The motivation was even more due to the fact that it was a season that preceded the 1998 FIFA World cup in France and a lot of national players were inherent in the team: Ajax had players that played in the Nigerian, Dutch, Danish and South African national teams amongst others.
From the first game of the 1997/1998 season, which was against Vitesse Arnhem at the Arena in Amsterdam, the winning spirit of the team was on show. We won by 5-0 and getting on the score sheet with one of the best goals I ever scored, thanks to YouTube viewers!
In that season we scored, I believe, over 70 goals. We were crowned champions, 3 weeks to the end of the season.
Winning the FA Cup three weeks after being crowned champions over a star studded PSV Eindhoven team headed by Dick Avocat as coach : Jaap Stam, Philippe Cocu, and Luc Nilis amongst others was the pinnacle of our might.
In 1999 we reached the KNVB final again. The team was determined to give it all and to take the cup back home where it belonged. Ajax won the final 2-0 and that is when I had the honour to hold the cup in my hands again.
BVB BORUSSIA DORTMUND
The 2001 – 2002 Season with BVB Dortmund was a remarkable and unforgettable soccer Season. A magnificent opening day away victory at Hertha Berlin, we were all season long in a three way title fight with the legendary Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen.
Eventually the last 3 weeks of the season saw us and Leverkusen left in the title race. At the end Bayer Leverkusen faltered and we were Crowned Champions
Having been eliminated from the Champions League by Liverpool, we set our sights on an eventual double of league and Uefa Cup title. We achieved the UEFA Cup Final only to lose out in the finals to a spirited Feyenoord Rotterdam side.