Finidi George Opens Up on Biggest Regret of His Career As He Settles Into Nigeria Role

Finidi George Opens Up on Biggest Regret of His Career As He Settles Into Nigeria Role

Edwin Kiplagat
May 21, 2024 at 7:46 PM
In this article:
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  • Finidi George had a trophy-laden playing career in Europe
  • The Nigeria coach played for clubs like Ajax and Real Betis
  • The 53-year-old recently spoke about his big career regret

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Nigeria's new coach, Finidi George, is settling into his role weeks after being appointed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The former Super Eagles star has been tasked with leading the team to the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations and probably the 2026 World Cup.

With the focus on seeing Nigeria play on a global stage, the former Ajax man also recently disclosed the biggest regret of his playing career.

Finidi George, Ajax, Nigeria, Ipswich, Real Madrid, AFCOn, World Cup
Finidi George played in England, Spain, and the Netherlands. Photos by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS and Tony Marshall/EMPICS.
Source: Getty Images

The 53-year-old had a successful career, wearing the colours of Ajax Amsterdam, Real Betis, and Ipswich Town.

He enjoyed his time at Ajax, winning eight major honours, including the 1995 UEFA Champions League under Louis van Gaal.

Finidi also enjoyed great success with the national team. After making his debut in 1991, he went on to produce unforgettable moments at the 1994 AFCON, which the West African nation won.

He also scored the goal that took the Super Eagles to their first-ever World Cup tournament in 1994. He played in two World Cup tournaments for his country, per Afrik-Foot.

Finidi on his biggest regret

Speaking at Brila FM, the Super Eagles coach disclosed the biggest regret of his career.

"My only regret is not signing for Real Madrid. The Real Madrid you know now is different from 25 years ago. They were struggling with money and couldn't reach an agreement with Ajax. I had already agreed personal terms with Madrid and spoken with coach [Fabio] Capello."
"I had a pre-contract, but Real Madrid and Ajax could not agree on the transfer fee."

Capello coached Real Madrid from 1996 to 1997 and 2006 to 2007. Therefore, Finidi could've played under the Italian in his first spell in the 1990s.

Finidi on Nigeria's next matches

Sports Brief earlier reported on Finidi sharing his thoughts on Nigeria ahead of games against South Africa and Benin.

The former Enyimba FC coach said the Super Eagles would have to face the tough teams to reach the 2026 World Cup.

Nigeria are currently third in the qualifying group after failing to beat Zimbabwe and Lesotho in their first two matches.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
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.