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African All Stars

‘Okocha or Aboutrika, who’s your favourite playmaker?’ Fans debate

9:10 AM WAT 13/05/2022
Jay-Jay Okocha of Nigeria and Mohamed Aboutrika of Egypt.
Fans give their views on who was the best attacking midfielder between the former Super Eagle and the Pharaoh

Supporters in Africa have been left divided on picking the best playmaker between Nigeria legend Jay-Jay Okocha and Egypt’s Mohamed Aboutrika.

On Thursday, Caf's official Facebook page posted a mixed photo of the 48-year-old Okocha while turning out for the Super Eagles, and Aboutrika, alongside Algeria's Karim Ziani and Khalilou Fadiga of Senegal.

In the post they titled ‘Magical footwork’, the African body asked fans to pick their favourite playmaker from the four. The post has already sparked a lot of debate with most fans divided between Okocha and Aboutrika.

While Okocha played 73 times for the Super Eagles between 1993 and 2006, scoring 14 times, the 43-year-old Aboutrika, managed 38 goals in 100 matches for Egypt.

“When it comes to Africa, Aboutrika is even better than Mohamed Salah,” Najmeldin Salih opened the debate, while Oladejo Ayodele said: “No player in Africa past or present comes close to Jay-Jay Okocha when talking about footwork.”

Billa Lung Deng said: “Aboutrika is best in all Africans,” while Ashim Can opined: Aboutrika is the best of all time,” and his sentiments were echoed by Youness Labzae, who wrote: “Aboutrika 22 the best of the best.”

Meanwhile, Jean-jacques Therock Ludueme was of the opinion Okocha, who also played for a host of clubs across Europe including Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League, is incomparable.

“Never compare apples to oranges; Okocha was way better than the three players,” explained Ludueme.

“As Algerian, I love Karim [Ziani] and Aboutrika but all of them were very good,” added Aek Sil while Abdelrahman Kotb Elarby stood with the Egypt legend: “Aboutrika 22. No player like his magic.”

Petros Mwanza drummed up support for Aboutrika, who won the 2006 title with the Pharaohs and also came second in the African Footballer of the Year award in 2008 after Emmanuel Adebayor: “Aboutrika all the way,” Mwanza wrote, while Mostafa Aziz said: “Aboutrika without any doubt.”

Elsewhere, Darious Romario picked the Nigeria legend, who also played for French side Paris Saint-Germain: “Okocha is the best-skilled footballer to ever come from Africa,” same as Brighton Mtonda, who opined: “Even all those other players would vote for Jay-Jay Okocha.”

Hassan Sulaiman said: “Jay-Jay Okocha shouldn't be categorised among them [players] with all due respect to them, Jay-Jay is in a class of his own while Joseph Djam explained: “No one comes close to Jay-Jay.”

Wael Salama weighed in on the matter by saying: “Without doubt or controversy, Aboutrika is best in all Africans while Mohamed H Abd Elfadeel wrapped up the debate: “We have two magicians Okocha and Aboutrika, but absolutely [Aboutrika] was unstoppable.”

Between Okocha and Aboutrika, who was your favourite playmaker? Let us hear your thoughts in the comment box below.