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Okocha better than Messi, Ronaldo in one area – John Barnes



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John Barnes may well be loved among the Liverpool fandom, but his recent statement is about to unite the fan base of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on him as he posits Jay Jay Okocha to be a better player than them.

Former Liverpool midfielder, John Barnes, has claimed that Nigeria’s football legend, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, was better than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of pure skill.

Barnes stated that Okocha was among the most naturally gifted skilful players in the world, and placed him in the same category as Brazilian and Barcelona legend, Ronaldinho.

Speaking in an interview with SuperSport, Barnes said Okocha’s career would have been even more successful if he had joined the English Premier League at a younger age. The Nigerian midfielder spent four years at Paris Saint-Germain before moving to Bolton Wanderers in 2002.

Okocha better than Messi, Ronaldo in one area – John Barnes

“When you talk of two of the most naturally gifted skilful players, the most skilful player in the world, there are two, Ronaldinho and Jay-Jay Okocha, who is naturally the most skillful player because the things he does on the football field are what you do in the playground, what you do in training you aren’t supposed to do in matches. He does it better than [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, anyone in terms of pure skill,” Barnes said.

Okocha was known for his dribbling skills, ball control, and trickery on the pitch. He enjoyed a successful career playing for various clubs, including Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, PSG, Bolton Wanderers, and Hull City. He also represented the Nigerian national team and was a key player for the Super Eagles during his international career.

Barnes’ comments have sparked a debate among football fans, with many agreeing that Okocha was a highly skilled player, while others believe that Messi and Ronaldo’s achievements speak for themselves. Despite retiring from football, Okocha’s legacy lives on, with many still considering him one of the greatest African players of all time.