STEPHEN KESHI SET DOUBLE RECORDS: As Super Eagles Of Nigeria Become Champions of Africa.

In 1994, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi led Nigeria football team (Super Eagles) to win Cup of African nations, as captain of the team. Now in 2013, he led another brand new team to win the current edition of the tournament after 19 years of down time. By this achievement, Keshi has set a new record as one person who has won the tournament as a player and as a coach.

Keshi also set another record as the first indigenous coach to win the tournament for Nigeria. Shaibu Amodu, one of Nigeria's foremost coach, had tried to achieve this feat, but had ended up in semi- finals and third place position respectively.

Nigeria went agog when an enterprising Super Eagles team ended the fairytale of Burkina Faso, by beating them 1 - 0. The lone goal was scored by Nigeria home boy, Sunday Mba.

It wasn't an easy game altogether. Burkinabe team showed a lot of resilience, wanted the game to go the way they played with Ghana at the semi final game, where they went on to win by penalty shoot out.

Well, if Burkinabe seem to enjoy a run of fairy tale, then what about Nigeria Super Eagles? The way Nigeria team ousted the tournament favorite, Ivory Coast 2 - 1 and made mince of Mali 4 – 1 was quite incredible.  Burkina Faso couldn’t stand on their way to success. Up Nigeria!  Up Super Eagles!  the Champion of Africa!

Few lessons from Keshi's Success at AFCON 2013.

First, if you want to achieve extra ordinary results, you must take some un-usual steps. Nobody was sure of what Keshi was up to when he ignored some more established Super Eagles players, who are even doing well in their clubs, to choose rookies. Players like, Osaze Odenwingie, Obafemi Martins, Yakubu Aiyegbeni.. Were all ignored. To crown it all, he chose six home based players, something most Coaches before him dare not do.

Second, if you want to achieve success, don't always follow popular opinion or yield to critics or pressure from some high placed officials. Follow your own intuition as to how well to execute your job. Did Keshi's actions pay off? Your guess is as good as mine.

One thing Keshi did so well is his ability to motivate the boys and make them play their heart out. He made them believe in themselves. The boys were ready to play for Keshi, as well as die for Nigeria. In this tournament alone, Keshi had brought so many revelations in his team. Something to note is the central defense of Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona, which may have settled the defense problem the Super Eagle had suffered over a long time now. Then, getting strikers like Emmanuel Emenike, Brown Idiye, Victor Moses, Sunday Mba, Ahmed Musa to play at their optimal level. Brazil 2014 World Cup should watch out for the Super Eagles.

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