Finidi George’s Replacement: Why NFF Should Consider Appointing Herve Renard As Super Eagles Coach

Finidi George’s Replacement: Why NFF Should Consider Appointing Herve Renard As Super Eagles Coach

Ero Samson
updated at June 28, 2024 at 5:13 PM
In this article:
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Super Eagles
South Africa
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FIFA World Cup
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FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
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CAF African Nations Championship
  • The hierarchy of the Nigeria Football Federation recently denied reports linking Hervé Renard to the vacant Super Eagles role
  • The French national women’s team coach is one of the most successful managers to ever grace the African football landscape
  • Sports Brief highlights why the football federation should reconsider its decision to discard the option of appointing Renard

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The Nigerian football community was thrown into a frenzy when reports surfaced that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had opened talks with French manager Herve Renard.

However, this excitement was short-lived as another report emerged, debunking the news.

Herve Renard, France, Nigeria, UEFA Euro, FInidi George, Super Eagles, Coach
Herve Renard who is reportedly linked with coaching the Super Eagles, during the Women's Euro qualifying match between France and Rep of Ireland at Stade Saint-Symphorien. Image: Stephen McCarthy.
Source: Getty Images

According to Nigerian football expert, Oluwashina Okeleji, a member of the NFF hierarchy, dismissed the rumours, adding more intrigue to the search for a replacement for Finidi George.

The federation had previously announced its intention to hire a foreign coach for the Super Eagles. Despite the debunked reports about Renard, the question remains: who is better suited to lead the Super Eagles to secure a spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

Many have emphasised the need for the NFF to consider Renard, who, according to L'Equipe, is expected to leave his position with the French women’s national team.

In light of this, Sports Brief highlights several reasons why the NFF should reconsider appointing Renard as the Super Eagles coach.

Why NFF should consider appointing Renard as Super Eagles coach

Achievement on the African continent

The 55-year-old is one of the most successful managers to have ever graced African football.

Throughout his illustrious coaching career, Renard has managed four teams on the African continent and has remarkably clinched titles with three of these nations.

He won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015, and the CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) in 2018 with Morocco.

Renard’s only barren spell in Africa was a brief three-game stint with the Central African nation of Angola, where he did not clinch a title.

The former Morocco manager also has extensive experience in qualifying teams for the World Cup. He was at the helm when the Atlas Lions secured a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Vast experience in handling elite players

One of the major shortcomings of Finidi’s brief tenure as coach of the Super Eagles was his struggle to manage players of the highest calibre.

The 53-year-old appeared to have difficulty exerting control over players of the Nigerian team, particularly those plying their trade in some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

In contrast, Renard has thrived in this aspect. He successfully led an Ivory Coast team featuring some of Africa’s top players, including Yaya Touré, Kolo Touré, and Salomon Kalou, to execute a game plan that resulted in Les Elephants winning the AFCON crown for the first time since 1992.

During his stint with Morocco, Renard also managed elite players, including then-Juventus defender, Mehdi Benatia, and attacker, Hakim Ziyech.

Experience in delivering in crunch situations

The Super Eagles face a critical situation as they strive to secure a ticket to the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the Americas.

The 2023 AFCON finalists risk missing out on consecutive World Cup editions due to their poor performance in the qualification series. However, if there is anyone with extensive experience in securing qualifications for major tournaments, it is coach Renard.

The 2014/15 CAF Manager of the Year captured the spotlight during the early stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup when he led Saudi Arabia to a stunning victory against eventual champions Argentina.

Renard also ended Morocco’s 20-year absence from the FIFA World Cup by ensuring their qualification for the 2018 edition.

With Nigeria on the brink of missing out on the World Cup, appointing Renard could be a masterstroke for the Super Eagles.

Roberto Landi speaks on coaching Nigeria

Sports Brief in another report detailed former Liberia coach, Roberto Landi, has expressed interest in the Super Eagles job.

The Italian tactician recently explained it would be a dream for him to coach the Nigerian team.

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).
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)