NFF Appoints Finidi George as Head Coach of Super Eagles

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has officially appointed former Super Eagles player Finidi George as the new head coach of the national team. This significant decision follows the departure of Portuguese coach José Santos Peseiro after Nigeria’s defeat by Ivory Coast in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final in February.

Finidi George, a 53-year-old former winger, was initially placed in interim charge of the Super Eagles. During this period, he oversaw two friendly matches: a 2-1 victory against Ghana and a 2-0 loss to Mali. His performance during this interim stint led to his permanent appointment.

As an assistant to Peseiro, George spent 20 months working closely with the team. His experience and familiarity with Nigerian football make him a valuable asset. Notably, he also serves as the coach of club side Enyimba, whom he led to the Nigerian title last year.

George’s playing career was equally illustrious. He represented Nigeria in 62 international appearances, scoring six goals. As part of the ‘Golden Generation,’ he contributed to Nigeria’s victory in the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, the same year the Super Eagles made their debut at the FIFA World Cup in the USA.

Now, as the head coach, George faces the challenge of producing immediate results. Nigeria’s next fixtures in June are crucial qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, which will also be held in North America. The Super Eagles’ campaign needs a revival after drawing their first two games in Group C. The home match against South Africa and the game against Benin on neutral ground have been labeled as “must-win encounters” by the NFF.

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George emerged victorious in a competitive race for this high-profile role, beating contenders such as former Super Eagles teammate Emmanuel Amuneke and Spaniard Domenec Torrent. The length of his contract has not been officially announced.

His success as a player and now as a coach reflects his impact both on the pitch and in the dugout. George’s glittering career included playing for Ajax, winning three league titles, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Intercontinental Cup. He also played for clubs like Betis and Ipswich Town. His contributions to Nigeria’s national team, including securing qualification for the 1994 World Cup and lifting the Nations Cup trophy, remain etched in football history.

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