So I followed his career with keen interest, just to check what really made him tick. I was quite intrigued later when, as coach of the Japan Under-17 squad, he lost 9-0 to their Nigerian counter-parts and his post-match comments really floored me.
Troussier was asked how he felt after such a humiliation. He replied that he was in truth very proud of his “children” considering that one of the Nigerian “Under-17” players collected his wife and two kids and drove off in his taxi at the end of the match!
Now, that took age cheating to another level.
Over the years we have battled the scourge of age cheating in Africa and we all know how much it has stunted the growth of African football, where we excel in youth competitions but are dismal at senior level.
Yet nothing prepared me for the claims of one Joseph Moukoko, a Cameroonian father who claims his son is 12 years old. I have a 19-year-old son but I swear that Moukoko’s son Youssoufa looks much older and yet he is alleged to be only 12!
With due respect to Joseph, there's no way Youssoufa can be 12. I am aware that he has produced documents and birth certificates that “prove” his son was born only 12 years ago in Cameroon, but I would accept it if perhaps he confessed that his son was in actual fact 23 years old!
And I am not even jealous of the boy; just embarrassed and disgusted at the corrupt lengths some parents will go to in reducing the true ages of their children in order to cheat so blatantly. It’s a shame.
The “boy” features for the Germany Under-17 side and has scored 13 goals in five matches for Borussia Dortmund and a staggering 33 in 21 games for the German U17s - a clear indication that most 14- and 15-year-old opponents are not yet physically developed enough to deal with this man masquerading as a boy.
I have in my years as a journalist tried to expose age cheating in the African game and a month ago, Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick, who is now the Caf vice-president, confided in me revolutionary plans he intends putting in place to combat this phenomenon.
After reading the shameful birth date of Mr Youssoufa Moukoko, I washed my hands of this embarrassment and wished Pinnick and Danny Jordaan, among others who are fighting age cheating across Africa, the best of luck. They certainly need it!