Super Eagles’ Goal Is To Win Next AFCON, Says Peseiro

Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro. [email protected]

 

Super Eagles Head Coach Jose Peseiro has set his sights on winning next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). 

Nigeria last won the competition in 2013 and were one of the favourites heading into the 2021 tournament but surprisingly capitulated to Tunisia in the round of 16. The three-time continental champions also lost the 2022 World Cup ticket to rivals Ghana.

But Peseiro, who took over after the twin disappointments, is optimistic about Nigeria clinching the next edition of the championship.

“Algeria is a good team. Of course, our goal is to win the next AFCON, but for that, we need to create the habit to win, it’s the main point,” the coach said ahead of the friendly tie with the 2019 champions.

“You introduce some younger players, introduce the tactical works, introduce the situation and dynamics, but at the same time, you want to win; you must create the habit to win. Every time, we want to win, to become the best national team in Africa, we must create that habit, and we want to win.”

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Precautionary Move

The Portuguese also spoke about the injury to Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi who left the team’s camp on Thursday.

He said: “I think I have a better relationship with our older players and Ndidi, when he came, the fitness coach from Leicester City sent for our fitness coach because we have that connection with them saying that he (Ndid) complained in the last match.

“He (Ndidi) did training, small training because of the condition of the hamstring. I was around yesterday and I said I think it’s better we don’t use them because I don’t want to use an injured player in a friendly match because he can get more injured.”

Ndidi last featured for Nigeria in the AFCON tie against Tunisia. He missed out on the double-legged World Cup playoff with the Black Stars of Ghana.

Nigeria’s game against Algeria will hold on Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 in Oran, Algeria. The time for the match is 8:00 pm (WAT).

NFF Names Jose Peseiro As New Super Eagles Head Coach

In this file photo, former Venezuela’s Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro gestures during the Conmebol Copa America 2021 football tournament group phase match between Venezuela and Peru at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, on June 27, 2021. EVARISTO SA / AFP

 

Jose Peseiro has been named as the Super Eagles head coach, months after his initial deal with Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) collapsed. 

An NFF statement on Sunday said the appointment is “with immediate effect, subject to the signing of agreed terms” between the football body and the Portuguese.

“Peseiro is expected to lead out the Super Eagles for the first time during the upcoming tour of the United States of America, during which the three-time African champions will slug it out with Mexico and Ecuador ‘A’ Teams in prestige friendlies,” the statement added.

“The Eagles will tango with the El Tri at the AT & T Stadium in Dallas, the State of Texas on Saturday, 28th May before flying to New Jersey to confront Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison on Thursday, 2nd June.”

The educationist with a degree in physical education/sports sciences will be assisted by former international George Finidi. Salisu Yusuf will now serve as the 2nd Assistant as well as head coach of the CHAN and U-23 national teams.

“Usman Abdallah is 3rd Assistant while Eboboritse Uwejamomere will be the match analyst and another former Nigeria international, Ike Shorounmu will be the goalkeepers’ trainer,” the NFF said.

Peseiro, 62, featured as a striker during his playing days and has a wide range of experience coaching several clubs and national teams across Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

He has coached at Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto, Panathinaikos, Rapid Bucharest, Sporting Braga, Victoria Guimaraes, Al-Hilal, Al-Wahda, Al-Ahly Cairo, Sharjah FC, and Real Madrid (assistant coach during the Galacticos era).

Aside from these, he worked as head coach of the Saudi Arabian and Venezuelan national teams.

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Another ‘Opportunity To Work’

In this file photo, ex-Sporting coach Jose Peseiro gestures from the sideline during the Portuguese league football match between Sporting CP and Boavista FC at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on October 28, 2018. PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

 

Before Sunday’s confirmation, the Glass House had appointed Peseiro as the head coach of the three-time African champions following Gernot Rohr’s dismissal in December. Austin Eguavoen was handed an interim coach role to take Nigeria to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Peseiro was then expected to be an observer during the competition after which he would take over and lead the country to the ill-fated World Cup play-off with Ghana.

But the NFF backtracked on the move after the AFCON, citing the “positive performance” of the team at the competition where Nigeria crashed out in the round of 16 against Tunisia.

“We believe that perhaps in the future, there could be an opportunity to work with him,” the NFF said while announcing the reconstitution of the Super Eagles coaching crew in February.

In the wake of the decision, Peseiro refuted claims that he was confirmed as the Nigerian head coach.

The former Porto FC boss wrote on his Instagram handle that it was a “fact that I never confirmed and these (negotiations) did not materialize due to disagreement regarding contractual clauses and financial matters.”

Days after the Super Eagles of  Nigeria failed to pick one of Africa’s tickets to the 2022 World Cup, Eguavoen, however, quit his post.

An Ex-Madrid Assistant Coach… Six Things To Know About New Eagles Manager

File photo:  Former Venezuela coach Jose Peseiro gestures during the Conmebol Copa America 2021 football tournament group phase match between Venezuela and Peru at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, on June 27, 2021. EVARISTO SA / AFP

 

Following weeks of deliberations and consultations, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday named Jose Peseiro as the new coach of the Super Eagles. 

The 61-year-old will be taking over from German gaffer, Gernot Rohr, who was dismissed earlier in the month after some unconvincing performances by the three-time African champions.

While his much-awaited appointment came when the senior national team’s camp had opened for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the federation clarified that the Portuguese coach will not be taking Nigeria to the competition.

It instead explained that interim manager, Austin Eguaveon, will be in charge as the country pushes for a fourth continental crown in Cameroon early next year.

Despite a handful of names making the news in the quest for a new Eagles manager, fans are divided over the NFF’s choice.

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Below are six things to know about the Super Eagles latest handler: 

A Spell With Real Madrid

Peseiro is reputed to have had spells with some top clubs in Europe including Real Madrid.

He was an assistant to compatriot Carlos Queiroz in 2003.  The Los Blancos finished fourth that season, leading to their dismissal from the job.

Quit Last Job Over Unpaid Wages

With less than two weeks to a triple-header of World Cup qualifiers, he resigned from his job as Venezuela’s coach in August 2018, citing unpaid wages.

President of the Venezuela Football Federation, Jorge Gimenez, admitted that Peseiro was owed “no more and no less than one year” of salary, adding that “he’s hardly been paid anything from his tenure.”

First Time Coaching African National Team

While the former FC Porto coach is not new to African football having managed the Egyptian side, Al Ahly, the Nigerian job is the first time he will be in charge of a national team on the continent.

At Al Ahly, he, however, did not last more than the 2015/2016 season with the African Super Cup holders.

Managed/Worked With High-Profile Teams/Coaches

Apart from Real Madrid, Peseiro has also had stints with some top clubs in Europe.

The coach has worked with top Portuguese sides like FC Porto and Sporting CP, playing in the Champions League with the latter. In addition, the new Nigerian manager at some point worked with Jose Mourinho and Carlos Queiroz.

Well-Educated

Nigeria’s new coach has a Master’s degree in sports science, a big plus for the Super Eagles.

Began Coaching In 1991

Having retired from playing football at 34, the Portuguese started his coaching career as a player-coach with Union Santarem in the Portuguese fourth division.