Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil had the name "Jay Jay Okocha" and "10" emblazoned on the back of his kit as a starry-eyed kid, the former Real Madrid man disclosed during a question and answer session with fans on Monday, January 11, 2021.

Former Nigeria international Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha was quite the dribbler and entertainer in his heyday, showboating his way across pitches from Frankfurt to England.

Then PSG midfielder Jay-Jay Okocha controls the ball during a French first division match at Parc des princes stadium in Paris, in 2000
Then PSG midfielder Jay-Jay Okocha controls the ball during a French first division match at Parc des princes stadium in Paris, in 2000
AFP

And former Germany international Ozil, who has been on the fringes at Arsenal this term, says the dazzling Okocha was also his idol growing up.

"What name and number were written behind the fb shirt you wore when you were younger?", a fan had asked Ozil on social media platform Twitter.

"Number 10 and Jay Jay Okocha," the talented midfielder had responded.

Born in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria, Okocha, 47, laced his boots for Ozil's boyhood club Fenerbahce in Turkey, Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany, Paris Saint-Germain in France and Bolton in England, among others.

In his two seasons at Fenerbahce, Okocha amassed 30 goals in 62 appearances, many of them from direct free kicks, a trademark for him at the club.

Okocha represented Nigeria from 1993 to 2006 as an international and starred at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha at the heart of midfield for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup in the United States (Getty Images)
Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha at the heart of midfield for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup in the United States (Getty Images)

He was also part of the 'Dream Team' that won gold for Nigeria's soccer team at the Olympic games in Atlanta, USA in 1996.