Former Nigeria international, Austin Okocha, has urged upcoming young players to kick-start their football career in Germany.
Okocha who stated this at a press conference for the Bundesliga Legend Tour in Lagos on Thursday, posited that Germany has the best football structure for young players.
The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner, went to Germany as a 17-year-old in 1990 and signed for third division side Borussia Neunkirchen, before moving to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga two years later.
Speaking on his experience as a young player in Germany, he said:“The Bundesliga is the league that made me, changed my life. And that was even when our people (Nigerians) didn’t know much about it.
“I got to Germany at 17 and I was given the opportunity to excel. It’s difficult to find that happening in any other place. In England, you have to play 75 per cent of your country’s games before you are considered.
“In the Bundesliga, they give you everything to express yourself. I always use myself as an example; in the beginning, I never wanted to pass the ball, but they made me strike the right balance and used my talent to the advantage of the team.
“I can proudly say that I had no scandal throughout my career, no serious injury worries because of what I was taught: how to live off the pitch. It was very important. If I have the opportunity, I will ask every kid to start their careers in Germany. The structure they have is comparable to none.”
After spending four years with Frankfurt, Okocha joined Turkish giants Fenerbahce in 1996.