5 things Amodu Shaibu and Stephen Keshi had in common

The month of June is certainly an unforgettable one in Nigerian football as the country lost two of her greatest coaches in history.

First, it was former skipper, Stephen Keshi, who died of suspected cardiac arrest on Tuesday, June 7. As if that wasn’t enough, Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) Technical Director, Amodu Shaibu, followed in his sleep three days after.

In honour of these two great icons of our time, we examine their outstanding similarities as it relates to the game of football.

  1. Prodigy and protégé

Both Keshi and Shaibu worked together during the latter’s first spell in charge of the Super Eagles between April 2001 and February 2002. During this time, Keshi understudied him as his assistant before taking up a substantive role.

  1. Qualified Nigeria for the World Cup

The Super Eagles have been to five FIFA World Cup finals – with Shaibu and Keshi qualifying the country on three occasions. They jointly secured the ticket to Korea/Japan 2002, then individually made it to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups respectively.

  1. Died in Benin in their 50’s

One intriguing similarity between Keshi and Shaibu is that they died in their 50’s in Benin City, Edo State. The former passed away aged 54, while the latter was four years older.

  1. Coached outside Nigeria

Keshi and Shaibu are among an elite group of Nigerian coaches to have managed outside the shores of the country. While Shaibu handled South African club, Orlando Pirates, between 1996 and 1997, his counterpart managed two nations, Togo and Mali, between 2004 and 2010.

  1. Won laurels for the country

Keshi and Shaibu remain the most decorated indigenous coaches in the history of Nigerian football. Shaibu led the West African nation to two Africa Cup of Nations bronze medals in Mali 2002 and Angola 2010. Keshi on the other conquered Africa by lifting the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as a player in Tunisia in 1994 and as coach in South Africa in 2013.