Super Eagles star Josh Maja has named Austin Jay-Jay Okocha as his football idols when growing up.
The 21-year-old Bordeaux forward was born in England to Nigerian parents which made him eligible to play for the two countries.
Maja caught the attention of the Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr following his impressive performances in Ligue 1 before he made his Nigeria debut in a 2-2 draw against Ukraine last September.
Former Sunderland striker revealed his admiration of former Super Eagles captain Okocha as he told BBC Sport Africa.
“Of course, playing in one of Europe’s top five leagues and performing well will improve my chances [of international selection],”
“I’ve settled in well since I joined [from Sunderland in January 2019]. I’ve adapted to the playing style and culture of the league and I’m hoping to play more games in the future. It’s a great experience in a top league.
“The Nigerian team has always had quality, but now there are a lot of young talents playing, so the future is very bright for us.
“Hopefully the opportunity comes to play and help them make history. Playing on an international stage was a dream of mine and to represent my country and make my family proud.
“I’m familiar with my roots. I went to Nigeria a few times when I was young, and in the next few years, I’ll be going again.
“Okocha was a big icon and an example to many players, even outside of Nigeria. He had lots of qualities and performed well in the Premier League.”
Maja scored eight goals and provided three assists in 24 appearances across all competitions for Bordeaux before Ligue 1 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak across the world.