Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, popularly known as the Big Boss, was a football manager of the Nigerian national football team the Super Eagles up until October 16, 2014. The former football defender started managing the Nigeria national team in 2011. Stephen Keshi was born on January 23, 1962, in Azare, Bauchi state, Nigeria. After a playing career mostly with Belgian clubs, Keshi went to the United States to be educated in coaching.
He played for various national and international clubs including ACB Lagos and New Nigeria Bank, in Africa including Stade d’Abidjan and Africa Sports and in Europe including Anderlecht and Strasbourg.
Keshi played for the Nigerian Team from 1981 to 1995 and participated in 64 matches. In 1994, he won the title as a player and captain of the team.
He was a key player in the Nigerian national team and appeared at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, played in five African Cup of Nations championships and was a part of the team, when they won the 1994 African Cup of Nations. In 1996, Keshi and Augustine Eguavoen, who once coached the Nigerian national team, played together in California as the backbone of the defence for the short-lived Sacramento Scorpions. Between 2004 and 2006 Keshi coached the Togo national football team. In 2006, Keshi brought them to their first World Cup tournament. Later, Keshi guided the Mali national team for two seasons, 2008 to 2010.
He won the CAF Coach of the Year 2005 as a Coach for Togo. In 2009, he won the CAF Legend Award and in 2013, he won the CAF Coach of the Year.
Keshi was appointed the head coach of the Nigeria national team in 2011. In 2013, Stephen guided the Eagles to the African Cup of Nations title. At 2014 World Cup in Brazil Nigeria made it to the round of 16, but lost to France. He is one of only two people, along with Egypt's Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a coach. After the match with France, Stephen Keshi announced his resignation as the Super Eagles coach. However, the Nigerian Football Federation retained him to coach two more matches. In October 2014, he claimed to have lost interest in continuing the job, following the breakdown of negotiations.
On december 10, 2015; Kate his wife died after battling cancer for three years. Six months later, Stephen Keshi drew his last breath following a heart attack en route a hospital in Benin City, on the 8th of June, 2016. He was aged 54 and is survived by four children.
Photo Source: goal.com