English Bundesliga

Anthony Ujah: Jay-Jay Okocha one of the reasons Nigerians love Bundesliga

Anthony Ujah believes Jay-Jay Okocha has inspired many Nigerian players to join Bundesliga and he also contributed to the growing support among the fans in the African country.

Okocha made a debut in Bundesliga when he joined Eintracht Frankfurt in 1991, a move that eventually improved his career and went on to be a favorite among Nigerian fans during World Cup 1994 held in USA.

The success prompted scouts of Bundesliga clubs to sign more Nigerian players, including Ujah who joined Mainz in 2011.

It’s a dream move as Ujah considers Bundesliga as one of the best leagues in the world.

“There are some stories you hear that you don’t hear about Germany. It’s a very stable league. Of course, very physical, but if you can be successful here, you can be successful anywhere.

“We’ve seen players go to the Premier League from the German league and do very well.

“For Nigerians to be here a lot, not just presently but a lot also in the past… We’ve had good players from Nigeria who passed through here, like, of course, the number one is Jay-Jay Okocha, but it’s just an amazing league and they have very good scouts here. So, it’s easy to find quality players in Nigeria.”

Ujah stayed with Mainz for two seasons, before joining Koln in 2013. He scored a total of 21 goals before moving to Werder Bremen in 2015.

But after only a season, he left the club and moved to China as he joined Liaoning Whowin.

Despite performing well in China, Ujah decided to return to Germany and rejoined his former club Mainz in 2018.

The second time wasn’t so lucky for Ujah and he left Mainz for the second time and joined his current club Union Berlin.

Union is currently 14th in the table with 32 points, and only four points away from relegation zone.

It’s a rough patch for the club, as Union are winless in five games in a row since Bundesliga resumes on May 18.

They lose 2-0 to Bayern, 4-0 to rivals Hertha Berlin, 4-1 to Monchengladbach while drew 1-1 to both Mainz and Schalke.

“Coming back from eight weeks of sitting on the sofa cannot be the same. We don’t want to have this excuse until the last game. We want to change things as soon as possible.

‘Of course, there has been an improvement in terms of fitness levels, but coming to winning ways again is our goal and is what we’re really working towards, especially this week because our fitness level cannot be an excuse anymore. We just have to throw everything.”