Former Super Eagles captain Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha has said it is “twice difficult” for an African to emerge as the best player in the world.
The retired midfielder said this on Friday, September 22, while being interviewed on CNN shortly after Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar were shortlisted for the 2017 FIFA Men Best Footballer award.
Okocha, who twice came close to winning the African footballer of the year award, said players from the continent have to contend with a great deal of pressure, hence limiting their ability to compete.
"I think as an African player, it is twice more difficult for you to win it,” he said.
"Because from onset your are playing on different kind of pressure - pressure to push yourself, pressure to eradicate poverty, pressure to be successful and I think by doing that, you will lose focus sometimes and quit trying to be the best because you have other things you are worried about.