Last week, former African Footballer of the Year, Victor Ikpeba, revealed Laurent Blanc, Phillip Cocu and Ernesto Valverde, and ex-Porto boss, José Peseiro as the names in the final shortlist of coaches in line to be employed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
He said the candidates applied for the vacant Super Eagles job.
A list of seven candidates had been trimmed to four by the Technical Committee, which has forwarded its recommendations to the Executive Committee of the NFF.
“We have about six, seven foreign managers that applied, the names are all out but some of them were not mentioned,” Ikpeba said to Channels TV Sunday Sports.
“We looked at the profiles and we decided three, four of the foreign managers we take it to the Executive Committee of the NFF Board to decide.
“Ernesto Valverde, Laurent Blanc, Phillip Cocu and José Peseiro applied for the Super Eagles job and based on their profile they were shortlisted,” he said.
Now, it has been reported that former Sporting Lisbon manager José Peseiro is the leading candidate to become the new head coach of the Super Eagles.
Dutch coach, Mark Wotte and former Algeria coach, Adel Amrouche, are among the coaches who have shown interest in the Eagles’ job, Punch reports. Former Sampdoria and Cagliari manager, Walter Zenga, has also joined the race for the Super Eagles coaching job.
According to Tutto Napoli, Italian legend Zenga is believed to have joined the list after being contacted by the country’s football governing body.
“Walter Zenga can return to coaching. The former Inter goalkeeper is ready to get back in the game after his last experience at Cagliari in 2020,” the website wrote.
The NFF in a statement in December 2021 from its media team titled ‘Communique of the meeting of NFF Executive Committee’ endorsed Peseiro following the termination of Gernot Rohr’s contract earlier in the month.
“After careful consideration of a memo presented by Chairman of the Technical and Development Sub-Committee, the Executive Committee endorsed a proposal for the appointment of Mr Jose Peseiro as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles, following the end to the relationship with Mr Gernot Rohr,” the statement read in part.
“However, the committee resolved that Mr. Augustine Eguavoen, named the interim Head Coach, will lead the Super Eagles to AFCON 2021 in Cameroon with Mr. Peseiro only playing the role of Observer.”
We profile some of the intending coaches
José Peseiro – José Vítor dos Santos Peseiro (born April 4, 1960) is a Portuguese football manager and former player who played as a forward. He has coached several clubs in his country, including Sporting CP – which he took to the 2005 UEFA Cup Final – and Porto. He also worked extensively in Arab nations, being in charge of the Saudi Arabian national team.
Peseiro spent his first eight years as a manager in the third and fourth-tiers of Portuguese football, starting out as a player-coach at his last team.
His latest outing is the Venezuela team, which he resumed on February 4, 2020, being appointed after the resignation of Rafael Dudamel. He made his debut on October 9 in a 3–0 loss away to Colombia in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification.
Laurent Blanc – Laurent Robert Blanc (born November 19, 1965) is a French professional football manager and former centre-back player.
Blanc played professional football for numerous clubs, including Montpellier, Napoli, Barcelona, Marseille, Inter Milan and Manchester United, often operating in the sweeper position. He is also a former French international, earning 97 caps and scoring 16 international goals.
He represented the country in several international tournaments, including the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000, both of which France won. On 28 June 1998, Blanc scored the first golden goal in World Cup history against Paraguay.
He began his managerial career at Bordeaux in 2007, winning domestic honours including the 2008–09 Ligue 1 title. After leaving Bordeaux in 2010 he became the manager of the French national team until 2012, replacing Raymond Domenech in the wake of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and leading the country to the quarter-finals of UEFA Euro 2012.
In 2013, he was hired by Paris Saint-Germain, winning further honours. After three successful years with Paris Saint-Germain, he left the club in June 2016.
On December 19, 2020, Blanc was appointed as the head coach of Qatari club Al-Rayyan, replacing Uruguayan Diego Aguirre. And, on February 13, 2022, he was terminated because of poor results and replaced by Nicolás Córdova.
Phillip Cocu – Phillip John William Cocu (born October 29, 1970) is a Dutch professional football manager and former player.
Cocu has played youth football for local clubs DCS and De Graafschap. After a year at AFC ’34, he started his professional career at AZ.
In 1990, Cocu moved to Vitesse. A broken fibula disrupted his first season, but he became a first-team regular in the following four seasons. In 1995, he joined PSV, where he won the KNVB Cup and the Eredivisie title in 1997.
Cocu played for Barcelona between 1998 and 2004. There, he would become club captain, win La Liga in 1999 and play in two Champions League semi-finals.
He left the club in 2004 as the club record holder for the most league appearances by a foreign player. During Cocu’s second stint at PSV, he won another three Eredivisie titles and reached the Champions League semi-finals. After a year at Al Jazira, Cocu retired from professional football.
Cocu debuted for the Netherlands national team in 1996 and appeared at the 1998 World Cup, scoring two goals but missing a penalty in the semi-finals against Brazil. He also played at the 2006 World Cup, as well as 1996, 2000 and 2004 European Championships.
Cocu reached the semi-finals in the latter two tournaments and in 2004, he served as captain of the Dutch team. With 101 caps, Cocu is eighth on the list of most Dutch international appearances.
After his retirement from playing professional football, Cocu joined PSV again as a youth coach and later assistant manager. He also served as an assistant at the Dutch team under Bert van Marwijk between 2008 and 2012.
Cocu was caretaker manager at PSV in 2012, during which he won the KNVB Cup. In 2013, he was officially appointed as PSV manager and won three league titles in his five years at the club.
On July 5, 2019, Cocu was announced as the new manager of Championship club Derby County. He guided Derby to a 10th-place finish. On November 14, 2020, Cocu and Derby parted company with the club at the bottom of the league table.
Ernesto Valverde – Ernesto Valverde Tejedor ( born February 9, 1964) is a Spanish football manager and former player who played as a forward.
Over ten seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 264 games and 68 goals, adding 55 matches and nine goals in Segunda División. He played for six teams in a 14-year professional career, including Espanyol, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.
Valverde later went on to have an extensive spell as a manager, including being in charge of all three clubs. He won the double with Olympiacos in 2008–09 and 2011–12, and Barcelona in 2017–18.
In February 2019, Valverde signed a new one-year contract extension with Barcelona. He led his team to their first Champions League semi-final after a gap of three years, winning 3–0 at home against Liverpool but being eliminated after an upset 0–4 defeat at Anfield in the second leg, leading many to call for his dismissal. He also guided the side to another Spanish Cup final, this time losing 2–1 to Valencia.
Valverde remained in charge for the start of 2019–20. On January 13, 2020, he was dismissed by the club, with his last game being a 3–2 defeat to Atlético Madrid in the Supercopa de España.