Football-Biography of an illustrious Patriot

"Big Boss"

Late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi popularly known as the Big Boss was born on January 23, 1962, in Azare, Bauchi state, Nigeria. Keshi died en route to hospital on the early hours of Wednesday, June 6, 2016 in Benin City, Edo state, Nigeria from a heart attack. Before his demise, he was a Nigerian football player and captain. His national team career spanned from 1981 - 1995, he made 64 appearances scoring 9 goals. He was a key player of the Nigerian national team and appeared at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in USA, he played in five African Cup of Nations championships and was a part of the team that won the1994 African Cup of Nations. 

He was also a football manager of the Nigerian national team from 2011 - 2015. Keshi was 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 in 1994 and 2013 respectively. The Big Boss was a solid defender in the central midfield area of the pitch during his playing days and played for African and European, mostly Belgian football clubs. He played professionally from 1979 - 1998 and made a total of 386 appearances scoring 51 goals for his clubs and country and winning 12 honours. Having finished professional playing career, Stephen Keshi got special coaching education in the USA. 

He coached the Togo national team from 2004 - 2006 and led them to their first ever FIFA World Cup. Keshi also guided the Mali national team for two seasons from 2008 - 2010. At 2014 World Cup in Brazil, he headed Nigeria to the round of 16, but lost 2 - 1 to France.

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