Thursday, 9 June 2016

Stephen Keshi:The Player and The Coach.

Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was born on the 31st of January 1962, to the family of Ogbuenyi Frederick Keshi family that was based in the Ilah Community of Delta State.
He attended St.Finbarr's College at Akoka in Lagos.
His professional career can be described as follows:
He played for ACB Football club in Lagos from 1979- 1980,made 10 appearances and scored 1 goal. From 1980- 1984,he played for New Nigerian Bank made 42 appearances and scored 2 goals. In 1986,he moved to African Sports made 22 appearances and scored 2 goals . From 1986, he moved to Europe.In Europe,he played for Lokeren Football Club made 28 appearances and scored 6 goals.That was in the year 1986- 1987 at Lokeren. He moved to Anderlecht Football Club in Belgium from 1987-1991,he made 99 appearances and scored 18 goals. From there,he played at RC Strasbourg from 1991- 1993 made 62 appearances and scored 9 goals. In 1993- 1994,he moved to RWDM and made 40 appearances and scored 1 goal.In 1995,he moved to CCV Hydra made 20 appearances and scored 1 goal.From 1996- 1997,he played for Sacramento Scorpions made 16 appearances and scored 3 goals.Then in 1997- 1998 he ended his professional football at Perlis FA made 34 appearances and scored 4 goals. In total, he appeared 386 times in his professional career and netted 51 goals.

In the International scene,he played for the Super Eagles of Nigeria from 1981- 1995. The Big Boss as he was fondly called made an appearance 64 times for Nigeria National Team and scored 9 goals.
Stephen Keshi was part of the squad that were runners up in the Algiers 90 Nations Cup. He lifted the trophy in 1994, when the Super Eagles defeated Zambia in Tunisia 94,both 2 goals were scored by Emmanuel Amuneke.

His Coaching Career can also be explained in this manner. He coached Togo from  2004- 2006,after qualifying them for the World Cup in Germany 2006. He was promptly replaced by Otto Pfister prior to the World Cup Finals. He was reinstated in 2007 and sacked again in 2008. The Big Boss was appointed as Manager of the Mali National Football team in April 2008 on a two-year deal and was sacked in January 2010,after Mali's exit in the group stages of the African Cup of Nations.

Keshi became the Coach of the Super Eagles in 2011.He led Nigeria to qualification for the 2013 African Cup of Nations,which they went on to win, defeating Burkina Faso by a lone goal in the final.

On the 16th of November 2013,Stephen Keshi qualified the Super Eagles for the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil after defeating Ethiopia 4- 1 on aggregate in a play-off. He is the First African Coach to qualify two African Nations( Togo and Nigeria) to the World Cup.
After Nigeria's exit from the World Cup in 2014,Keshi's contract with the Nigerian Football Federation(NFF) expired and was not renewed.

In Conclusion,Stephen Keshi is the secound African after Egypt's Mahmoud El-Gohary to have won the African cup of Nation both as a PLAYER and a COACH.
Sadly,Stephen Keshi passed away on the 8th of June,2016 after complications of  cardiac arrest. He would always be remembered by both the PLAYERS that he played Football with and the ones he COACHED.
He was indeed a PLAYER and a COACH.