Stephen Keshi Nigeria football legend passes away at age 54 | Latest Sports News
Former Nigeria defender Stephen Keshi, who won the African Nations Cup as both a player and a coach, died of a suspected heart attack on Wednesday, the country’s football association has confirmed. Sunday Oliseh, a former team-mate and Keshi’s successor as Nigeria coach, tweeted his shock at the “horrible news” and called Keshi “an iconic hero”. Keshi skippered the Nigeria team that won the Nations Cup in 1994 before narrowly missing out on a World Cup quarter-final place the same year.
He coached the Super Eagles on three occasions, leading them to the 2013 Nations Cup title in South Africa and the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup.During a 20-year playing career, Keshi had spells in France and Belgium, most notably for Anderlecht, and also in the U.S. during the Sacramento Scorpions’ brief existence in the mid-1990s. He found almost instant success as a coach, leading Togo to surprise qualification for the 2006 World Cup, one of three spells in charge of the side.
Despite a strong showing at the World Cup in Brazil in which the side lost in the second round to France, Keshi did not have his contract renewed, though he did later return to lead the team on a match-by-match basis. He was then sacked as caretaker coach but reinstated after intervention from then Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan. Keshi, who lost his wife to cancer late last year, was then sacked for a final time last July.
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