– Stephen Keshi played football in four different
continents of the world
– The late tactician has an unprecedented record for
both himself and Nigeria
Without an iota of doubt, Late Stephen Keshi is the greatest
captain and coach Nigeria has ever produced. All through
his years of service to the round leather game, Keshi
excelled in all capacity of the sport.
Here 10 things you should know about the late football
1. He started his playing career with the popular Lagos
based side, African Continental Bank Football Club (ACB) in
1979 and New Nigerian Bank (NNB) from 1980 to 1984 in
Stephen Keshi dishing out instruction to a Super Eagles
2. Keshi migrated to Cote d’Iviore where he had successful
spells with Stade d’ Abidjan in 1985 and 1986 respectively
scoring 4 goals in 35 league appearances for both clubs.
3. The ‘Big Boss’ had his breakthrough career in Belgium
where he signed for Lokeren in the 1986/1987 season and
immediately caught the eye of Anderlecht the following
Keshi was exceptionally good and possessed leadership
qualities which earned him the capacity to serve as captain
of Anderlecht after just one season. In his four-year spell at
the club, he won back-to-back Cup titles in 1988 and 1989
also leading his team to a league win in 1991.
Keshi was not done yet as he led his team to the quarter
finals of the Champions League the following season which
they eventually lost out to Giannluca Vialli-led Roma.
4. A dependable member of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s
Sports Transformation Agenda which saw Nigeria winning 3
major trophies in 9 months.
Stephen Keshi presents AFCON 2013 trophy the the then
president of Nigeria
Following the achievement, the mystero of Nigerian football
became the first African coach to qualify two African teams
for the World Cup which was Togo and Nigeria.
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5. He played alongside Nigerian teammate Augustine
Eguavoen in the United States with Sacramento Scorpions in
1996 also moving to Central California Valley Hydra (CCVH)
for another stint with an American club. He also played for
Malaysian side, Perils FA in the concluding part of his
6. Keshi blossomed in the national team playing for 14
years from 1981 to 1995 where he featured in five Nations
Cup including the victorious Tunisia 94′. He was popularly
known for being a mafia whereby deciding who should be
at the starting XI of the Super Eagles.
Keshi poses with the AFCON 2013 trophy alongside Super
Eagles players and ex-internationals
7. All through his years in the United States, Keshi acquired
a certificate in coaching an tested his wits by becoming the
Togolese national team coach from 2004-2006 where he
historically qualified the Hawks to their first World Cup in
However he did not lead the West African side to the World
Cup in Germany because of a dismal outing in the 2006
Nations Cup with Togo but Keshi was recalled after German
coach Otto Pfister failed at Germany 2006 World Cup.
8. His resume for coaching grew as his took the job for as
coach of the Malian national team in 2008 but was sacked
two years after Mali did not progress beyond the group
stage at the Africa Nations Cup.
9. Keshi’s turning point in his coaching career was when he
served his fatherland in 2011 as his was coach of the Super
Eagles of Nigeria. He came as at the time Nigeria failed to
qualify for the Nations Cup.
In the 2013 edition play hosted by South Africa, the Big Boss
qualified and won the AFCON title also qualified Nigeria to
the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Keshi guided Nigeria to the
Confederation Cup an World Cup in Brazil but failed to
qualify from the group phase and his contract was not
10. The versatile defensive midfielder also played with
Strasbourg in Ligue 1 in France before moving back to
Belgium for another spell with a Racing White Daring (RWD)
in the 1993/1994 season.