Finidi George appointed new Head Coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles

Photo Credit: NFF

 

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Monday named former Nigerian winger & Enyimba Head Coach, Finidi George, as the new manager of Nigeria’s Senior Men National Football Team, the Super Eagles.

George’s appointment was confirmed after the NFF approved the recommendation of its Technical and Development Committee. He replaces José Santos Peseiro, the Portuguese, who voluntarily left the post following the accomplishment of Africa Cup of Nations runner-up position at Cote d’Ivoire 2023,

Last month, George, took charge of the squad in an interim capacity during two friendly matches in Morocco last month.

His squad edged Ghana 2-1 in the first match, ending an 18-year winless streak against the Black Stars, but then lost 0-2 to Mali in the second game.

George, was a member of the ‘Golden Generation’ that won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Tunisia and emerged the second most entertaining team in Nigeria’s debut at the FIFA World Cup finals in USA the same year.

Club Career:

George played locally in Nigeria for Calabar Rovers and Sharks before heading for Dutch side, Ajax Amsterdam. He also played for LaLiga sides, Real Betis as well as Real Mallorca and Ipswich Town, in England.

He won the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Super Cup with Ajax, in 1995.

National Team Career:

With 62 caps for Nigeria, he featured at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup finals. He also won gold, silver and bronze medals from the 1992, 1994, 2000 and 2002 AFCON tournaments.

He made a scoring debut for fatherland in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Burkina Faso at the National Stadium, Lagos on July 27, 1991, as a player in the domestic league and assisted Rashidi Yekini (of blessed memory) to score Nigeria’s first-ever FIFA World Cup goal against Bulgaria in Dallas, USA on June 19, 1994.

George had actually scored the goal that took Nigeria to that FIFA World Cup debut, when he put Nigeria ahead against hosts Algeria in a crucial qualifier in Algiers on October 8, 1993. The match eventually ended 1-1 and earned Nigeria a ticket to the finals in America.

 Immediate Task

There will be little or no time to celebrate his appointment as George’s immediate task will be to guide the Super Eagles to must-win matches in two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic in Uyo and Abidjan respectively, in a little over five weeks.

 

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