- Man United legend Rio Ferdinand says Jay Jay Okocha is his favourite Nigerian footballer.
- The 40-year-old also described fans' passion for football in Nigeria as crazy and loud
- According to him, Drogba and Eto'o were the best African strikers he came up against
Former Man United star Rio Ferdinand, arrived in Lagos on Thursday night, November 29, on a 3-day visit as he worked with Guinness Nigeria to experience the passion of Nigeria’s football fans.
Ferdinand who won six Premier League titles, the Champions League and two League Cups with Manchester United during his playing days, spoke about his love for Nigerian food, music and the passion of the fans for football.
Speaking with selected Nigerian journalists including Legit.ng's correspondent in Lagos, Ferdinand said: "The passion for football here is crazy. When I could not believe the number of people I saw at the airport when I arrived. I don't know why but I believe the passion comes from within. The only place I have seen it this crazy is in Asia (Japan, Korea) but the noise level here is different, people are loud.
"When I come here, everybody happy whether they have money or not. People living life to the fullest. The culture, the music here also is massive in England. I love the Afrobeats, the food, the energy when you come to Nigeria. Everyone is looking to prosper, to achieve, I like that vibe. When I grew up, a lot of my friends were Nigerians or Ghanaians."
Ferdinand who was on a visit for the second time to Nigeria could not hide his admiration and respect for Super Eagles legend Austin Okocha when asked which Nigerian players had an influence on him.
According to the Man United legend, he and his teammates most of the time use to study a recorded tape of Okocha because of his style of play.
He said: "When I was growing up, Okocha was the man. Sunday Oliseh, Yekini, Kanu were good also. But for me, Okocha was the man. When he was in PSG, I and my friends use to try and get videos to watch him because he was that good. And then he came to the Premier League and lit the league up as well. Nigerian players of that era had a huge influence on young black boys from where I lived."
However, Ferdinand noted that the best strikers he came up against in Africa were Drogba and Eto'o.
He said: "Drogba and Eto'o were the best African strikers I came up against. They were really good. Both powerful, fast and played for their teams. They were not individual players."
Earlier, Legit.ng reported one of Ferdinand's highlights during his visit to Nigeria.
The ex-football and now a football pundit, , which sparked a parade from adoring fans.
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Man United legend Rio Ferdinand reveals his love for Nigerian Jollof rice |