Stephen Okechukwu Keshi

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Stephen Okechukwu Keshi (born January 31, 1962 in Lagos) is a former football defender from Nigeria.

Playing career

An important player for Nigeria, Keshi was captain of the squad for the 1994 FIFA World Cup and played in five different African Nations Cup tournaments, helping to win the 1994 African Nations Cup.

His last club was Perlis FA in Malaysia. In 2000, a testimonial match was arranged for him in Lagos, Nigeria.

Coaching career

After a playing career mostly with Belgian clubs, Keshi went to the United States to be educated in coaching.

In 1996 he was joined by Augustine Eguavoen, who once coached the Nigerian national team. They played together in California as the backbone of the defense for the short-lived Sacramento Scorpions. Keshi has been a part of the coaching staff for the Nigerian national team, most notably as head coach for the Junior Eagles at the 2004 Olympic soccer tournament.

Between 2004 and 2006 Keshi coached the Togo national football team, unexpectedly bringing them to their first World Cup tournament, Germany 2006. Having secured Togo's unlikely qualification, he was promptly replaced by German coach Otto Pfister prior to the World Cup finals, after Togo showed a dismal performance and failed to advance to the tournament stage in 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

However, Pfister did not last beyond a controversial World Cup campaign that nearly resulted in a player's strike over pay and Togo remained without a manager until February 2007 when they re-engaged Keshi in time for a friendly against Cameroon.

He worked as manager of the Mali national football team, after being appointed in April 2008 on a two-year deal.

Keshi was sacked in January 2010, after Mali's early exit in the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.On 2 November 2011 he was named the new coach of the Nigerian National Team.

Honours

African Nations Cup: 1994 (with Nigeria)

West African Club Championship: 1983, 1984 (with New Nigeria Bank FC)

Coupe Houphoet Boigny: 1985, 1986 (with Stade d'Abidjan)

Côte d'Ivoire Premier Division: 1986 (with Africa Sports)

Côte d'Ivoire Coupe: 1986 (with Africa Sports)

Jupiler League: 1991 (with Anderlecht)

Tagged : African Nations Cup, football, sports news, FIFA, Super Eagles coach, World Cup, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, 1994 FIFA World Cup, Otto Pfister, Mali national football team

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