Nigeria has lost one of its soccer greats, former captain and coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, popularly known as the “Big Boss”. Keshi was born in Nigeria in 1962 and passed away in the early hours of today, reportedly from a cardiac arrest. He was 54 years old. Keshi won the AFCON trophy both as a player and coach with Nigeria. The Big Boss indeed leaves an indelible mark and a great legacy.
Former Nigeria Captain and Coach, Stephen Keshi, is dead. Reports say the legend died in the early hours of Wednesday, RIP Big Boss.
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) June 8, 2016
Keshi had an illustrious soccer career both as a player, and coach. He captained the Super Eagles and later coached the national team. During his days as a player, Keshi starred as a central defender, in a career which began in the early 1980s until the mid 1990s, winning 64 caps and scoring nine goals donning the green and white. He won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy with the Super Eagles in 1994 and played overseas in Belgium, France, in the U.S. and Malaysia respectively.
After he hung up his boots, Keshi took up coaching and managed Togo on three different occasions. He also coached Mali between 2008 and 2010 before being appointed coach of the Super Eagles in 2011.
The “Big Boss”, as Keshi was popularly and affectionately known led Nigeria to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, a tournament they went on to win, after defeating Burkina Faso 1–0 in the final.
Under the Big Boss’ tutelage, Nigeria reached the knockout stage of 2014 World Cup in Brazil, not a mean achievement.
Keshi is the only Nigerian and second person in the history of the AFCON competition to have won the prestigious trophy both as a player (1994) and as a coach (2013).
The Big Boss indeed leaves an indelible mark and a great legacy and may he rest in perpetual peace.
The continent is mourning the death of one of Africa’s soccer greats and tributes continue to pour in. Social media users have been sending their condolences:
Horrible news & Sad day as Our legendary Captain & brother Stephen Keshi dies.May his blessed soul rest in peace.we lost an iconic Hero 2day
— Sunday Oliseh (@SundayOOliseh) June 8, 2016Loading...
Woke up to the sad news of the passing of my brother Stephen Keshi. I can't believe it. I am in shock . Football legend. RIP
— Kalusha Bwalya (@KalushaPBwalya) June 8, 2016
Shocked, shocked shocked beyond to hear of the passing away of Stephen Keshi. African legend #RIPBigBoss
— Carol Tshabalala (@SimplyCarol8) June 8, 2016
Shocking sad news of the passing of Stephen Keshi RIP we pray for his family.
— Femi Anikulapo -Kuti (@Femiakuti) June 8, 2016
Rest in peace Stephen Keshi #RIPKeshi . A tragic day for football on the African continent.
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) June 8, 2016
Stephen Keshi also a trailblazer & strong advocate for African coaches – first African coach to lead a team to the last 16 of a World Cup.
— John Bennett (@JohnBennettBBC) June 8, 2016
— Soccer Laduma (@Soccer_Laduma) June 8, 2016
Stephen Keshi was too young to go. 🙁
— Banky Wellington (@BankyW) June 8, 2016
Watch Stephen Keshi's finest moment as Nigeria coach – winning #AFCON2013.
SS9 at 11:00 & 20:30
SS3 at 23:00 pic.twitter.com/X5FaJ6ywgb
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) June 8, 2016
He made us proud! Still in shock!!! RIP to the great Coach Stephen Keshi🙏🏽😢😕 #OMG
— Peter Okoye MrP (@PeterPsquare) June 8, 2016
Source: Twitter and Facebook