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George Boateng hates the hype Jay Jay Okocha got during their playing days



By Monsurah Olatunji

Former Netherlands midfielder George Boateng has confessed he was agitated with the media hype around Austin Jay-Jay Okocha prior to their 2004 League Cup final.
Playing for Middlesbrough at the time, Boateng couldn’t bear the hype of the Bolton Wanderers captain.
The Nigerian international played key roles in helping Bolton knock out Liverpool and Aston Villa – scoring three brilliant free-kicks – in earlier rounds of the League Cup.
Speaking to BBC on the 20th anniversary of the encounter, the four-capped Netherlands international recalled how he was motivated to neutralize the influence of the Nigerian in the match.
“I was a bit agitated with the media,” Ghana-born Boateng told BBC Sports.
“They were all hyped up on Jay-Jay Okocha, I was getting sick of it.
“I did the press, they asked me how we were going to stop Okocha, and I said: ‘Excuse me, we are playing 11 players, it’s not only Jay-Jay Okocha on the pitch, we’re playing Bolton’.
“Don’t get me wrong, he was a good player, but in my head, I was thinking what’s the hype about Jay-Jay Okocha, and that we’ve got Boateng so what’s the problem?
“I didn’t see much of Jay-Jay Okocha [in the final]. Did you? He’s not superhuman; I can stop him, it’s not a problem.”

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