The Nigerian International football legend, and former Paris Saint German star, Austin (Jay-Jay) Okocha has expressed that the tussle between the PSG attacking players, Neymar and Edinson Cavani is an advantage, and that the two players should be left to figure things out on their own.
The world-record signing, Neymar, and Cavani bickered over who to take a penalty-kick during PSG’S 2-NIL victory over Lyon last week. A set piece which Cavani eventually took and missed and Neymar has since been reported to have tendered an apology for his conduct.
Okocha however believes that two players can serve as great sparing partners for each other, oushing each other to attain greater heights in their performances. He explained how himself and Brazilian football star, Ronaldinho, when they were on free-kick duties, resolved things by taking turns.
“It’s healthy competition. It’s always good to have more than one player who can take free-kicks or penalties,” he told AFP during an interview in London on Friday. “At the end of the day, it happens in almost every team. You just have to negotiate and say: ‘You take the first one, I take the second one.’ “It’s all about the team and winning matches. It can be negotiated. Each player has got his best spot, so you know that if it’s in that area, you’re definitely taking it. “And if it’s in a neutral area, whoever feels good can take it.”
Okocha was in attendance at the official announcement of the final three-man shortlist for this year’s Best FIFA men’s player Award, where Neymar, his former teammate at Barcelona, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo emerged as the finalists vying for the award.
Ronaldo and Messi have both won every major world player award since year 2008, but Okocha is of the opinion that Neymar’s move to PSG will help the 25 year-old Brazilian player in his pursuit of career accolades.
“He’s not too far.” Okocha said. “It’s all about competing, believing in himself and consistency,” said Okocha, who played for PSG between 1998 and 2002. The other two have refused to give in so to go above them, you have to do a bit more than they are doing, which is a very tough ask.
“He took a bold decision to move, but now he can be his own man and he can show that he has what it takes to be the best.”