The Oasis Reporters
January 24, 2018
Winner oh oh oh, winner!
Winner oh oh oh, Winner!
Winner we don come again oh
Kpata kpata we go win again oh, winner!
Popular and catchy Nigerian song at football engagements that often sent the smile and the surge in Keshi’s adrenaline.
Google has created a doodle of the late former Nigeria coach, Stephen Keshi, on its opening page on Tuesday to celebrate and honor what he would have been at 56. Google said the doodle was to recognise the legacy of the former coach and Super Eagles captain who died on June 7, 2016, at 54.
Doodles are the fun and spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.
The doodle, which will be viewed in all African countries, illustrates the unique achievement of Keshi, who won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations as player and as a coach in 2013.
The author of Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe (deceased) was another notable personality honoured by Google in the past.
Google said, “Keshi is one of only two men to win the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a manager, a testament to his wit, talent, and love for the sport.”
Keshi is famous for being the one of the two people, alongside Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), Africa’s biggest soccer tournament, as a player and manager. Keshi first won the title in 1994 as captain of the Super Eagles and, 19 years later, won it again as manager leading a less-than-fancied Super Eagles side. He died in June 2016.
In a soccer-mad nation where the sport is a national pastime and often a unifying event, Keshi was well-loved and is fondly remembered for his decades of service to the national team. His career as a player with the Super Eagles spanned 14 years during which he made 60 appearances—the second highest ever by any player at the time of Keshi’s retirement in 1995.
In 2011, Keshi took over as a manager of the Super Eagles at a time when the national team was at a low ebb and barely living up to its reputation as one of the continent’s best teams. Indeed, the Super Eagles had not won an international title since Keshi last lifted the AFCON trophy in 1994. In 2014, Keshi further sealed his legacy with the Super Eagles at the World Cup in Brazil, matching the team’s best ever performance at the event with a round of 16 finish.
Notably, Keshi remains popular among players in Nigeria’s local soccer league. During his time with the Super Eagles, Keshi broke a ceiling of sorts by insisting on inviting promising players from the local league to the senior national team—a gutsy move given that Nigeria had several big name players at popular European soccer clubs at the time. Keshi’s team at the 2013 AFCON comprised of six home-based players. His decision eventually paid off when, in the final against Burkina Faso, Nigeria’s lone goal was scored by a home-based star.
His 19-year club career spanned five countries and four continents, including a four-year stint at Anderlecht, Belgium’s most successful club, where he won the league title in 1991. Keshi’s managerial career also saw him make history outside Nigeria as he qualified Togo for the World Cup in 2006—the country’s first ever appearance at the global event..