Jay-Jay Okocha says he will be out to prove he’s still got it when he leads Nigeria at Star Sixes this summer.
The former Bolton Wanderers and Paris St-Germain playmaker, who was known for his silky skills and creativity on the pitch, retired from professional football after a season with Hull City in 2008.
But now, as he returns to action for his country at the inaugural Star Sixes tournament, he hopes to spearhead the Super Eagles to glory at The O2 in July.
“It’s going to be fun. I like the fact there is not so much pressure on us now as we do not have anything to prove other than that we still have it!” said the 43-year-old.
“I might be a bit slower, but you never lose your touch or quality.
“I do not get a chance to play that often now as I have done my bit. But every now and then I have a kick about and love to play the occasional charity or testimonial game.”
He continued: “I am very competitive and we will give it our best shot representing Nigeria again.”
Okocha won the African Cup of Nations and an Olympic gold medal with his country and is the first Nigeria player to be unveiled for Star Sixes.
He is looking forward to linking up with other former international teammates for another crack at silverware and says they will be taking the tournament very seriously.
And the ex-Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder has warned other stars coming to London to underestimate the competition at their peril.
“Even if you think that it doesn’t matter so much anymore now, that all changes once you are out there on the pitch,” he said.
“Once you are out there it really does matter, and if it doesn’t you should just stay at home.”
He added: “We will be giving our all to win the tournament. But I do not think Nigeria will be feeling under pressure and that could make it very difficult for our opponents.
“Most of us have kept in touch over the years and still play the odd game together, but this will be different to be together as a group again in a competitive environment. It is going to be very nice for all of us.”
Nigeria will be among the 12 nations competing at the four-day Star Sixes tournament at The O2 in London from 13 to 16 July 2017.
International legends including Roberto Carlos (Brazil), Robert Pirès (France), Carles Puyol (Spain), Deco (Portugal), Michael Ballack (Germany), Christian Abbiati (Italy) and Steven Gerrard (England) will also be entertaining the fans in the first-ever Star Sixes tournament.