Jose Peseiro: Nigeria Legend Victor Ikpeba Defends Record of Departing Super Eagles Coach

Jose Peseiro: Nigeria Legend Victor Ikpeba Defends Record of Departing Super Eagles Coach

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at March 5, 2024 at 8:31 AM
In this article:
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CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
  • Jose Peseiro recently quit as Nigeria's coach
  • Victor Ikpeba thinks he deserves accolades
  • Peseiro led Nigeria to the 2023 AFCON final

Jose Peseiro surprised many Nigerians when he announced that he had left his role as Super Eagles coach after the end of his contract.

The news came weeks after the Portuguese had led Nigeria to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final in Ivory Coast.

Victor Ikpeba, a 1994 AFCON winner, says the veteran coach deserves more plaudits than criticism.

Jose Peseiro, Victor Ikpeba, Victor Osimhen, William Troost-Ekong, AFCON
Jose Peseiro was close to leading Nigeria to their fourth AFCON title. Photo by Carlos Rodrigues.
Source: Getty Images

Peseiro took over as Nigeria's coach in May 2022, and there were questions about his ability to get the best out of the Nigeria squad, arguably the best on the continent.

The Super Eagles made a disappointing start to their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign by drawing against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

At the 2023 AFCON, Nigeria made an unexpected run to the final. Their 2-1 defeat in the final was their only defeat in the competition.

Many Nigerians questioned Peseiro's tactical approach in the final. Despite going 1-0 up in the first half, the Super Eagles' defence collapsed, and they conceded twice. They failed to bounce back after going behind, per BBC.

Nigeria have not released a statement on Peseiro's departure. The Nigeria Football Association's (NFF) main challenge will be to find a new permanent coach.

Ikpeba backs Peseiro

Peseiro's style did not impress many Nigerians. Ikpeba thinks the Portuguese tactician deserves more respect. The former Monaco striker said he did well because AFCON is tough.

“What he did in AFCON, credit to him. It took us 19 years to win our first AFCON. It’s difficult to win the AFCON," via Complete Sports.

Ikpeba called out those questioning Peseiro's conservative tactics.

“Those who said Peseiro was defensive in his approach in the final should be ashamed of themselves. Don’t forget that was this same approach he used to defeat Cameroon, Angola and South Africa and he was not criticised...Accolades should be given to him because he has done well.”

The former Borussia Dortmund star added that foreign coaches have done more for Nigeria and need more acclaim.

NFF makes offer to Peseiro

Sports Brief also previously reported that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have reportedly extended a contract offer to Peseiro after his contract expired last month.

The proposed contract is reportedly valued at around $80,000. However, the former Venezuela boss is said to be holding out for an offer of approximately $120,000.

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Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.