Jose Peseiro: Amunike and The Nigerian Coaches That Should Replace Outgoing Super Eagles Gaffer

Jose Peseiro: Amunike and The Nigerian Coaches That Should Replace Outgoing Super Eagles Gaffer

Ero Samson
updated at March 4, 2024 at 11:11 AM
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  • Jose Peseiro’s contract as coach of the Nigerian national team expired at the end of February
  • The Portuguese tactician has since announced the end of his reign as the Super Eagles coach
  • Sports Brief highlights three Nigerian managers who could take over from Peseiro at the helm

The speculation surrounding Jose Peseiro's future, sparked by Nigeria's performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast, was finally put to rest when the Portuguese coach announced on social media that his time with the Super Eagles had come to an end.

The former Sporting CP manager, who was in charge of the Nigerian national team for 22 months, amassed victories in 11 of the 22 matches, including four at AFCON, where he eventually lost in the final to tournament hosts, Ivory Coast.

AFCON, Nigeria, Jose Peseiro, CAF, Super Eagles, Coach
Jose Peseiro of Nigeria gestures during the CAF Africa Cup of Nations match between Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Image: Ulrik Pedersen.
Source: Getty Images

Following Peseiro's announcement, a multitude of coaching candidates have been rumoured to potentially succeed him.

However, there has also been a resounding call for a locally-based coach to take over the affairs of the Super Eagles.

This preference is underscored by the recent success of African managers at the AFCON, with Ivory Coast's Emerse Fae being the latest example.

As discussions continue about the ideal local successor to Peseiro, Sports Brief identifies three Nigerian coaches who could step in to replace the departing Portuguese.

Nigerian coaches to replace Peseiro

Finidi George

The 52-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable journey in football. Following a successful career as a player, the pacy winger transitioned to administration and then coaching. Currently, he holds the position of head coach at Enyimba International, the champions of the Nigeria Premier Football League.

In addition to his role at Enyimba, he also served as an assistant to Peseiro during his tenure as coach of Nigeria. Should the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) decide to appoint a local coach rather than a foreign one, Finidi would undoubtedly be a strong contender.

He is well-acquainted with the current pool of players and knows how to maximise their potential. Furthermore, his appointment would ensure continuity in coaching philosophy, an aspect Nigerian football has lacked in recent years.

Emmanuel Amunike

The 53-year-old has openly expressed his dream of coaching the Nigerian national team. The former Barcelona forward achieved remarkable success with the Nigerian team at various age levels, including winning the 2015 U17 FIFA World Cup.

Amunike's coaching prowess was further highlighted when he guided the Taifa Stars of Tanzania, to qualify for the 2019 AFCON, against all odds.

Having worked closely with several current Super Eagles players, such as Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze, during their formative years, Amunike has a deep understanding of Nigerian football talent. Many Nigerian football stakeholders believe that he could be the solution to the country's footballing challenges.

It remains to be seen if the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will consider appointing the 1994 AFCON winner as the national team coach.

Austin Eguavoen

The 58-year-old presents another viable option among local coaches the NFF could consider. Eguavoen has been deeply involved with the current crop of national team players, serving as the technical adviser of the Nigerian national team. He has occasionally taken on the role of caretaker boss of the Super Eagles.

The former KAA Gent defender led the Nigerian team at the 2021 tournament. However, despite his widely acknowledged attractive style of play, Nigeria were unable to progress beyond the Round of 16.

Nonetheless, with Jose Peseiro's contract now expired, Eguavoen has once again been named as caretaker manager. Whether he will be appointed permanently remains to be seen.

Peseiro quits Nigeria

In another report, Sports Brief stated that Portuguese coach, Peseiro, announced his departure as coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

The 63-year-old led the West Africans to a first AFCON medal since 2019 and is now linked with several coaching jobs on the continent.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).