OFFICIAL: Jose Peseiro quits the Super Eagles

OFFICIAL: Jose Peseiro quits the Super Eagles
Jose Peseiro, head coach of Nigeria celebrates victory during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal between Nigeria and Angola at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Cote dIvoire on 02 February 2024 - Photo by Icon Sport

The contract of Jose Peseiro with the Super Eagles ended on February 29, 2024, following a solid performance with the team at AFCON 2023.

The Portuguese gaffer has been in the news in the past few weeks as his contract wound to close, with many expecting news from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over a renewal.

The former Venezuela gaffer came under heavy stick for the Super Eagles' performance before and during AFCON 2023, with many calling for his head.

However, while there were those not impressed with the performance of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro still had plenty of support from other quarters.

Following the expiration of his contract on the final day of February, Jose Peseiro took to social media to announce his departure from the Super Eagles.

Jose Peseiro will not continue with the Super Eagles

Should the NFF Hand Jose Peseiro a New Contract?
Credit: Iconsport

Jose Peseiro has been the main talk within football circles in Nigeria as his contract moved towards its end.

There were rumours of several offers for the Portuguese, and it ramped up the pressure on the NFF to offer him a new contract.

However, the NFF refused to make a statement or a move to assure the fans of the Super Eagles that they were taking the managerial role of the team seriously.

Failing to address the issue, the contract of Jose Peseiro elapsed. The Portuguese took to social media platform X to thank his fans and announce his departure.

Jose Peseiro led the Super Eagles to a second-place finish at AFCON 2023, where the team lost to the hosts, the Elephants of Ivory Coast, 2-1 in the final.

The Portuguese had earlier told the press that he informed the NFF he would speak about his contract when it expires.

He also said he would think about other projects and decide his future. For now, he needs to take a break and be calm.

Among the countries that showed interest in the Portuguese is Algeria, who have eventually signed Bosnian manager Vladimir Petkovic.

Jose Peseiro's record with the Super Eagles

Jose Peseiro with 11 wins for Super Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

Since the Super Eagles last won AFCON in 2013 under the tutelage of the late Stephen Keshi, Jose Peseiro recorded the best result – finishing second at AFCON 2023.

He was appointed the Super Eagles coach by the former NFF president Amaju Pinnick in May 2022.

He led the Super Super Eagles in 22 matches. He won 11 games, lost seven and drew four.

Between 2023 and 2024, the former Venezuela coach led the team in 16 matches, including three friendlies. The Super Eagles won nine (including five at AFCON 2023), lost three (plus a 2-0 loss to Guinea) and drew four.

Who will replace Jose Peseiro?

Emmanuel Amunike to take over from Jose Peseiro?The question now is, who will replace Jose Peseiro?

There is talk of the NFF going for a local coach as the federation is not buoyant enough to pay for a foreign gaffer following the massive salary Jose Peseiro earned.

Names making the rounds include Emmanuel Amuneke and George Finidi.

Emmanuel Amuneke has a rich track record with Nigerian football as a player and coach. He led the Golden Eaglets to win the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he discovered the current African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze.

He has indicated his interest in taking the job if offered.

Finidi is currently the coach of NPFL league leaders Enyimba of Aba. He also assisted Jose Peseiro at AFCON 2023.

He is not a stranger to Nigerian football, but it would be his highest-profile job on the domestic scene if he gets the job.

The Super Eagles have World Cup qualifying matches in June, where they will square off with South Africa and the Benin Republic.

AFCON qualifiers are also around the corner, with games planned for March.

The friendly between the Super Eagles and Argentina has been called off, but the NFF intends to find another team to test the team.

 

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.