Every time the Super Eagles announce changes to their backroom staff, the first question asked is often – who Nigeria coach?
Here we will offer some insight into the current Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro, and the Super Eagles coaches of the past.
Football managers are not all cut from the same cloth, but the sole element that binds them is their love for the game. Their passion.
The freedom to be expressive, to convey a range of personalities, and that burning desire to perform at one’s highest potential opens the door for role advancements and the ability to mesh together great skills where it matters most – in between those white lines.
The significance of a coach in a national football team cannot be overstated, as they play a pivotal role in shaping the team's performance and strategies on the field.
Leading the charge for the Nigeria national football team is the experienced Peseiro.
Who is Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro?
Peseiro is a Portuguese football manager known for his coaching philosophy that emphasises attacking play and tactical flexibility.
With a distinguished career that intertwines playing and coaching, the 63-year-old tactician brings a wealth of experience to the dynamic world of football.
In 1992, at the age of 32, Peseiro's managerial career took off as he joined the Portuguese lower-tier side União Desportiva de Santarém.
Interestingly, Peseiro had previously played for the club during his own days as a footballer.
This marks the beginning of his journey towards global recognition as a manager.
Throughout his diverse managerial career, Peseiro has overseen various clubs, including Real Madrid, where he served as an assistant to Carlos Queiroz, as well as Sporting CP, Panathinaikos, Braga, Al Hilal, Al Ahly, and Porto, among others.
In addition to his club management roles, he has also had the opportunity to lead national teams such as Saudi Arabia (2009-2011) and Venezuela (2021-2021).
Currently, he holds the position of the head coach for the Nigerian national team, a role he assumed in 2022.
Peseiro leads Super Eagles to AFCON final
Meanwhile, Peseiro achieved a remarkable feat in his debut tournament as Nigeria's coach. The Portuguese's style of play, coupled with the team's wobbly results in the matches leading to the AFCON, led to a lot of criticisms before the tournament even started.
However, the Super Eagles won over everyone in the Ivory Coast, with Peseiro opting for a 3-4-3 formation that brought out the best in the team (probably except Victor Osimhen, who had to sacrifice goals for the greater good).
Nevertheless, Peseiro led the side to the final of the competition, where they were eventually beaten by hosts Ivory Coast. But Nigeria made an impact at the tournament, having kept four clean sheets in the seven matches they played on their way to finishing as runners-up.
Peseiro on the verge of leaving Super Eagles
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has not always been on the same page with Peseiro, who was reportedly facing the sack before he took the Super Eagles to the AFCON.
However, the performance of the team at the tournament had led to renewed talks, with a section of the public calling for his contract to be extended.
As it stands, Peseiro's current contract will expire at the end of February, effectively making him free to join other teams, and it is increasingly looking like the Portuguese will leave.
Reports suggest Algeria will be his likely destination, with the Algerian FA taking major steps to lure Peseiro into becoming the head coach of the Desert Foxes.
Peserio replaced Augustine Eguavoen as Nigeria coach
On 29 December 2021, Peseiro reached a verbal agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to replace Gernot Rohr.
However, the deal encountered challenges, leading to the appointment of Augustine Eguavoen, a former Nigerian international and Technical Director of the NFF, to act as an interim coach.
Subsequently, on 15 May 2022, Peseiro was officially appointed as the new head coach.
Other notable Super Eagles coaches
Throughout its storied history, the Nigerian national football team, affectionately known as the Super Eagles, has been guided by a cadre of remarkable managers.
Among these luminaries, Brazilian tactician Otto Martins Glória stands tall, etching his name in Nigerian football folklore by masterminding their first Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) triumph in 1980.
His astute leadership paved the way for subsequent successes, including the appointment of Dutch coach Clemens Westerhof, whose tenure saw Nigeria clinch their second AFCON title in 1994, solidifying their status as a continental powerhouse.
In more recent memory, the indomitable spirit of the Super Eagles was epitomised by the late Stephen Keshi, whose managerial prowess propelled Nigeria to AFCON glory once again in 2013, marking a triumphant return to the summit of African football.
These iconic figures left an indelible mark on Nigerian football and inspired generations of players and fans with their passion, vision, and commitment to excellence.
Other notable managers who served as Nigeria coach
- Jack Finch (1949)- the first manager of the Super Eagles
- József Ember (1965-1968)
- Johannes-Franciscus Bonfrère (1995-1996)
- Philippe Omar Troussier (1997)
- Velibor “Bora” Milutinović (1997-1998)
- Thijs Libregts (1998-1999)
- Hans-Hubert “Berti” Vogts (2007-2008)
- Shaibu Amodu (2008-2010)
- Samson Siasia (2010-2011)
- Sunday Oliseh (2015-2016)