Wednesday, 8 June 2016

MUST READ :----Top 5 reasons Stephen Keshi will never be forgotten

Top 5 reasons Stephen Keshi
will never be forgotten


The sudden demise of former Super
Eagles captain and coach Stephen
Keshi has thrown the football world
into a state of shock.
The 54-year-old passed away in the wee hours of
today June 8, 2016, according to his relatives and
close associates.
“He was not ill at all, never showed any
signs of illness, but we suspect he never
got over the death of his wife,” one of his
close friends said.
Although Nigerians have continued to react to the
loss, below are five things the ‘Big Boss’ will be
remembered for.
1. Leading Nigeria to win AFCON 2013
Stephen Keshi led the Super Eagles to win the
2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa .
Nigerian appeared at the 29th edition of the
tournament as minnows.
The team began the competition on a rather poor
note with 1 – 1 draws against Burkina Faso and
Zambia respectively, in their opening two games at
the tournament. Nigeria defeated Ethiopia 2 – 0 in
their final group game to proceed to the quarter
final stage against the star-studded Elephants of
Cote d’Ivoire.
Keshi poses with the AFCON 2013 trophy alongside
Super Eagles players and ex-internationals
An Emmanuel Emenike freekick with a Sunday Mba
strike gave the Keshi-led team a 2 – 1 win over
the Ivorians.
Nigeria defeated Mali in the semis and overcame
Burkina Faso in the final to win the tournament for
a third time.
This feat confirmed Keshi as the second person to
win the AFCON tournament as a player and coach,
having also won it in 1994 as a player. The only
person to achieve similar feat was Egyptian
Mahmoud el-Gohary, who is also of blessed
memory.
2. Stephen Keshi assisted many
African players to move to Europe
Keshi played alongside Austin Eguavoen in California
as the backbone of the defence for the short-lived
Sacramento Scorpions. Chidi Nwanu, Odertey
Lamptey, Okechukwu Ajah, Philip Osondu all played
in Belgium with the influence of the ‘Big Boss’.
The moment Sunday Mba scored the goal that
handed Nigeria the AFCON 2013 trophy
Keshi also discovered many great players
including Justice Christopher, Dele Ayenugba and
Sunday Mba.
3. The issues that led to his sack as
the Super Eagles coach
It would be recalled that in 2002 Keshi was
assistant to Shuaibu Amodu when Nigeria qualified
for the World Cup, but the pair were sacked and
replaced by Adegboye Onigbinde before the
showpiece in South Korea and Japan.
The ex-international was re-appointed in 2011 and
won the AFCON in 2013. He led the team reach the
second round of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.



Keshi’s Super Eagles lost 2 – 0 to Le Blues of
France in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the
following day, the coach controversially announced
his resignation, saying certain people were trying to
“sabotage” him.
By 2015, Keshi’s contract expired and citing lack to
lack the required commitment to achieve the
Federation’s objectives, the gaffer was relieved of
his job.
4. First African coach to successfully
qualify two African nations (Nigeria and
Togo) to the World Cup Finals
The Big Boss led the Togolese national football
team to an unprecedented qualification for the
2006 FIFA World Cup.
Hawks of Togo celebrate a goal at the 2016 World
Cup
Having secured Togo’s unlikely qualification, he was
promptly replaced by German coach Otto Pfister
prior to the World Cup finals, after Togo showed a
dismal performance and failed to advance to the
knock-out stage in 2006 African Cup of Nations in
Egypt.
There was also a reported row with the Hawks
captain Emmanuel Adebayor.
5. Passion for the Super Eagles
He was a key player of the Nigerian national team
and appeared at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, played in
five African Cup of Nations championships and was a
part of the team when they won the 1994 African
Cup of Nations.
Stephen Keshi dishing out instruction to a Super
Eagles player
Despite being a defender, Keshi scored 9 goals for
the national team in his 64 caps between 1982 and
1984.
Having finished professional playing career, he got
special coaching education in the USA and was
appointed to manage the Super Eagles on three
different occasions, which he later won in 2013.