In continuation of our celebration on the late Nigeria Football Legend,Sam Okwaraji.We  goes into its archives to bring you 25 memorable quotes by the soccer maestro and on the national hero;first curated by thecables.

We hope you enjoy them.

Football is always a war.

Nigerians are yet to see my best. This is just the beginning. You will see more of me very soon – Sam, after making his debut for Nigeria against Algeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu in a Seoul Olympic Games’ qualifier.

Discipline wise, Hoener is good; physical-fitness training wise, Hoener good; technically, I think he’s average, maybe, because he’s young coach – SO on then Green Eagles coach, Manfred Hoener.

I know I am a good player. I am not afraid of football.

It was not the system that made us fail in Seoul. The system is not important and I don’t know why people attach so much importance to it. It is only good players that win matches – SO, on why Green Eagles failed at the ’88 Olympic Games.


Some people want to sabotage me, otherwise, why on earth should they have made me play in a strange position? Moreover, just when I was adjusting to the game, I was substituted. I think there is some foul play somewhere – SO after a World Cup qualifier against Gabon in Enugu.

I am not boasting, but I think I am good enough to play for any club in any country of the world – SO.

I am a lawyer you know and signed to play football for certain conditions but I don’t think it included reselling my services to my country. You or your club cannot stop me from playing for my country. Let me tell you, I am going to represent my country whether you like it or not – SO tells SSV 1846 manager who tried to stop him from honouring a call from Nigeria.

Talents abound in Nigeria, but the only problem is how to encourage and guide them.

Whatever confidence I have in my goalkeeping career today, Sam was instrumental to it. I’ll be grateful to him forever – David Ngodigha, 1991.

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He represented, for me, the new generation of midfield players with a very good foundation in football. Good techniques all around, great vision, impeccable style and finesse; and [he was] a true patriot – Segun Odegbami, 1989.

How could he just die like that? – Abiodun Idowu, 1989.

None of us apparently thought Sam would die like that, and that was why we continued the match with a settled mind. But when the news of his death reached us at the hotel, it shattered me personally – Samson Siasia, 1989.

I was lucky to be only shot and wounded then, but Okwaraji is dead and that is difficult to believe – Etim Esin recounts his ordeal two years earlier as he reflects on Sam’s death, 1989.

A patriot who never worried about what his country will give to him, but shed strength and sweat to the country’s glory – Sports Minister, Tonye Graham-Douglas, 1989.

If Sam was sick, Antwerp, which signed him on this year, would not have paid that much money ($450,000) for his release from his former club, Eintracht Frankfurt. White men are very thorough when it comes to things like these – Patrick Okwaraji, Sam’s brother, 1989.

Adieu Samson: the nation misses you; football fans miss you; your colleagues will miss you. May your football soul rest in perfect peace. Hero Okwaraji. – Frank Ilaboya, 1989.

The whole occurrence has been a great shock to me. A great shock indeed – Ademola Adeshina, 1989.

You just dazzled us with your performance and before we could even have the chance to say thank you, you were gone – Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase, 1989.

Sam had a tremendous drive of patriotism and commitment to football, despite having had two law degrees (LLB and LLM) – John Obakpolor, 1990.


To me, it seems he had gone back to Belgium and will soon return – Bala Ali, 1990.

Sam was a very social person, talented as a footballer and a motivator on the field of play – Christian Obi, 1990.

My wearing the No. 6 jersey at the Algiers ’90 tourney was as instruction from the coaches. There’s nothing bad in wearing a hero’s jersey. Beside, while in camp, Sam and I contested for the same role and I think he was far better than me, even though I tried my best – Thompson Oliha on Sam’s Jersey No. 6.

He told me back then that he had three ambitions in life and these were to play professional football abroad, obtain a doctorate degree in law and play for the Super Eagles. He actually achieved each and every one of these things before he died – Meinkeme Fekete, coach, Bayelsa United, the man who discovered Sam Okwaraji, 2007

Source :TheCable

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