Jose Peseiro: Ex Super Eagles Coach Defends Decision To Shun Nigerian League Players

Jose Peseiro: Ex Super Eagles Coach Defends Decision To Shun Nigerian League Players

Chukwu Ikechukwu
May 8, 2024 at 7:56 AM
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  • Jose Peseiro has defended his decision not to invite local players to the Super Eagles
  • The ex-Nigeria coach let the team to a silver medal at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
  • Peseiro departed the Super Eagles job in February when his contract had concluded

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Jose Peseiro has opened up on his decision not to invite Nigerian Professional Football League players to the Super Eagles during his time in charge of the senior national team.

The 64-year-old Portuguese tactician was in charge of Nigeria’s senior team for 20 months but never allowed local players to represent the Super Eagles in competitive matches.

Jose Peseiro, Nigeria, Super Eagles, NPFL, NFF, AFCON
Jose Peseiro led Nigeria's Super Eagles as head coach for 20 months before parting ways with the African giants in February 2024. Photo credit: Pulse Sports.
Source: UGC

According to Own Goal Nigeria, Peseiro, who guided the Super Eagles to a silver finish at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, claimed NPFL players were not at the same level as their foreign counterparts.

"There was pressure to pick players from the Nigeria Professional League. I get asked all the time when about them but I came at a time when the team just missed out on the World Cup, so I had to go for the best players.
"I saw a lot of the games and none of the players [are] as good as the ones playing abroad. You can’t call players for the sake of it."

Peseiro parted ways with the Super Eagles following the completion of his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in February although it was suggested he was being considered for the post again before both parties ultimately parted ways.

NPFL coaches laud Finidi’s appointment

Meanwhile, NPFL coaches have thrown their weight behind the appointment of Finidi George as the new coach of the Super Eagles as they believe it will open doors for local players in the national team, Daily Post reports.

The previous technical crew, under Peseiro's leadership, completely neglected stars from the local league and preferred to make use of European-based players in competitive matches for the national team.

Finidi, who coached in the NPFL with Enyimba and guided the team to the league title last season, is seen as a step in the right direction by the local coaches, who are fully in support of his appointment for the Super Eagles.

Peseiro plans next coaching move

Earlier, Sports Brief also reported that Peseiro is currently considering his options for a new job after his negotiations with the NFF hit a stalemate over a new contract.

Cameroon, Algeria, and Morocco were all strongly linked with an interest in the 64-year-old tactician but no deal materialised for the former Super Eagles coach.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..