The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) issued a press statement on Sunday, 15th May 2022, announcing it had contracted a 62-year-old Portuguese, Jose Peseiro, as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles.
The detail of the contract agreement between the NFF and the newly announced Super Eagles Coach is as follows:
It was gathered Peseiro would receive $70,000 monthly, over N29mn, from which he would pay his two incoming personal assistants.
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It was also gathered that the NFF was signing for just a year’s deal with the new Coach with an option for another year depending on how things turn out in the initial 12 months.
Among other clauses in his contract included that, Peseiro was expected to watch 60 per cent of domestic league games as he had been mandated to discover home-grown talents for the national team.
While a handful of other coaches were equally shortlisted for the Super Eagles job, Peseiro in the end reportedly turned out to be the cheapest option.
Sources familiar with the NFF’s recruitment process disclosed that other coaches that could have been hired for the national team were either not affordable or not available for the job.
“A number of other coaches were also contacted but it is either the salary they were asking for was too high or they were not even favourably disposed to a national team job at the moment.
“Peseiro turned out to be the cheapest option for the NFF and that was why they settled for him.”
It’s noteworthy that this was the second time the NFF is announcing Peseiro as the Head Coach for Nigeria, having hurriedly done the same on the eve of the commencement of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.
Then, it was announced that the Portuguese would be an observer while Austin Eguavoen would be solely in charge of the Eagles at the continental tournament.
The ‘appointment’ of Peseiro by the NFF was, then, contained in a communique issued after the NFF’s executive council meeting held on December 29, 2021.
However, a few weeks after the announcement, Peseiro revealed that talks to handle the three-time African champions collapsed due to financial queries and clauses in the proposed contract.
It’s worthy of note that Peseiro would be the first Portuguese sportsman to manage the national team.
José Vitor dos Santos Peseiro, 62, is a Portuguese who played as a striker in his days. He has to his credit wide and varied experience in coaching clubs and national teams across four different continents, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.
An educationist with a degree in physical education/sports sciences, Peseiro has top-level coaching qualifications and training, and has coached at Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto, Panathinaikos, and Rapid Bucharest.
He also had stints at Sporting Braga, Victoria Guimaraes, Al-Hilal, Al-Wahda, Al-Ahly Cairo, Sharjah FC, and Real Madrid, as well as serving as Head Coach of the Saudi Arabia and Venezuela national teams, respectively.
Though well-travelled and with vast experience, Peseiro appears to have more sack letters than trophies, but it would be out of place to outrightly conclude he would not succeed with the Super Eagles.
From Panathinaikos to FC Porto, and to Braga and even Saudi Arabia, it is on record that there has hardly ever been any happy ending wherever he had found himself as regards his coaching business.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese tactician has some notable moments winning silverware, with the last being the league title with Al-Ahly.
He is saddled with rebuilding the Nigeria team to a formidable status and his first outing would be leading the Super Eagles for the upcoming tour to the United States of America (USA).
Over there, the three-time African champions slugged it out with Mexico and Ecuador, in prestige friendlies.
Any rational Nigerian that thinks good of Nigeria, or means well for the country, wouldn’t hesitate to wonder why the NFF decided to settle for a foreign coach at a time when everyone is concerned about the needed actions to promote our domestic products.
Aside from this, for the fact that the country’s economy is currently dwindling, is enough reason to worry over the attraction of the NFF towards a foreign coach. It’s really worrisome that we have apparently lost interest and hope on our own, and this is the bane of Nigeria’s economic plight.