Stephen Keshi might be dead but we celebrate his life, his legacy and his remarkable achievements as a true patriot who answered the call of his country to serve as the coach for her National squad, the ferocious Super Eagles.
#RIPKeshi, Your legacy lives on.
Stephen Keshi Led The National Team To Victory At The Africa Cup Of Nations, AFCON, 2013:
Stephen Keshi took up coaching the Nigerian National Team in 2011 and led the Super Eagles of Nigeria to victory at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, just two years after he was appointed by the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF.
Although his team had doubtful beginnings since Nigeria had last won the cup in 1994, Keshi’s determination, commitment to the Nations squad and tactical expertise transformed the team and led them to victory.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final was played on 10 February 2013 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg in a contest between Nigeria and Burkina Faso to determine the winner of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Sunday Mba scored the winning – and only goal as Nigeria won the final 1–0 against Burkina Faso.
Stephen Keshi still fresh out the oven as the new coach had taken a huge risk by adding young, home-based players such as Sunday Mba and Godfrey Oboabona, and foreign-based players like Victor Moses, Vincent Enyeama, Emmanuel Emenike, Brown Ideye, John Obi Mikel and Uwa Elderson Echiéjilé.
His decision paid off as each of them played a pivotal role which led Nigeria to victory.
Stephen Keshi Made Nigeria The First Country To Achieve An African Cup Of Nations Trophy And World Cup Qualification At The Same Time In 2013
After winning the AFCON trophy in February 2013, Stephen Keshi secured qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup by beating Ethiopia 4–1 on aggregate in a play-off nine-months later on 16 November 2013.
The National team made their fifth appearance at the finals in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil held from 12 June to 13 July 2014. Nigeria’s first appearance was in 1994 where they reached the second round.
He became the first African coach to successfully qualify Nigeria for the World Cup in a span of 3 years.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the 20th World Cup and was played in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014, after the country was awarded the hosting rights in 2007.
After beginning the World Cup tournament with a 0-0 draw against Iran, followed by a controversial 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria lost the final group stage match 2-3 against Argentina though Stephen Keshi’s team progressed to the knockout stage on 25 June 2014 courtesy of a 3-1 win by Bosnia and Herzegovina over Iran.
On 30 June 2014, the Super Eagles lost to France in a 2014 World Cup Round of 16 match.
After the match, Keshi announced his resignation as Super Eagles coach, a decision he later reversed after the Nigerian Football Federation renewed his contract.
On 14 October 2014, Stephen Keshi announced he would move to another job as he faced pressure from certain people who were deliberately sabotaging his efforts. He never mentioned who they were.
Prior to his resignation, his team had failed to win a single game in the ongoing Morocco 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying series.
A lover of his country and a true patriot, Stephen Keshi was willing to continue coaching the Super Eagles as he loved the team and the nation it represented.
Stephen Keshi Discovered Lots Of Talented Young Men Who Turned Out To Be Some Of Africa’s Best Footballers
Footballers such as Sunday Mbah who made Nigeria the AFCON champions and Goddfrey Oboboana whose performance during the AFCON tournament was remarkable were able to secure football deals in international leagues, all thanks to Keshi.
Another star is Kenneth Omeruo who has been described as the pillar of Super Eagles defense.
Stephen Keshi made the Nigerian National team a force to be reckoned with and he will be greatly missed all over the world. #RIPKeshi #RIPToTheBigBoss