'Nigeria with Okocha and those players' - Chelsea's Koulibaly reveals memorable World Cup momentPublished: December 14, 2022
Chelsea's Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly cited Austin Okocha and the Nigeria national team as he discussed his best moments at the World Cup.
The French-born center back has seven career appearances to his name at the World Cup, including four in Qatar, where he captained the Teranga Lions and helped the current African champions reach the round of 16.
Koulibaly was seven years old when Okocha's magic mesmerized fans at the 1998 World Cup, pulling off incredible skills and dribbles he was famous for.
Celestine Babayaro, Nwankwo Kanu, Finidi George, Taribo West, Sunday Oliseh and Victor Ikpeba were some of the high profile names included in Nigeria's squad to France 1998.
Super Eagles fans were anticipating a quarterfinal showdown between Nigeria and Brazil, only for the team coached by Bora Milutinović to suffer their biggest ever defeat at the World Cup, losing 4-1 to Denmark.
On his memorable World Cup moment, Koulibaly told the official website of Chelsea : "Obviously 2002 was the last time Senegal got to the World Cup until 2018 when we went to Russia so it was a very long time, 16 years without a World Cup for Senegal. It was so long. When I went for my first time in Russia, it was amazing for me. It was my dream and I was really happy when I reached that World Cup.
"There was the Bafana Bafana World Cup in South Africa which was so good. They made all African people really proud of them because they played good football. We also had Nigeria with Jay-Jay Okocha and those players.
"It’s important to have a lot of good teams from Africa because of course an African team has still not won the World Cup. You can see that African football is progressing and moving forward, which makes me really happy."
Only Joseph Yobo (10) made more appearances than Okocha (9) at the World Cup, with both featuring in three tournaments.
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