Stephen Keshi is one of only two men who has won the CAF Africa Cup of Nations both as a player and a coach - the other being Egypt's Mahmoud El-Gohary. In 1994 Keshi captained the Super Eagles to their second continental success in Tunisia and 19 years later he was in charge of the West African team as they won the trophy for the third time in their history in South Africa. In between, he sensationally led Togo to their first - and to date only - appearance at the FIFA World Cup finals, but was sacked a few months before Germany 2006 after a public falling out with the teams' star player Emmanuel Adebayor.
Keshi was a trailblazer for Nigerian players in Europe, having joined Lokeren from Ivorian club Africa Sports in 1987. He spent several successful seasons in Belgium, winning the league with Anderlecht in 1991 and twice making the Belgian cup final. He also spent two seasons in France with Strasbourg before returning to Belgium where he joined Molenbeek. He then moved to the US to train as a coach. While there he played for CCV Hydra and Sacramento Scorpions before ending his playing career with Malaysian club Perlis FA.
Keshi, who is known as Big Boss, is a highly principled coach, who does not shy away from taking unpopular decisions, as he did when he chose his squad for the AFCON finals in South Africa. Leaving out European professionals like Peter Odemwingie and Taye Taiwo, Keshi included a number of Nigerian-based players and fittingly it was it was Enegu Rangers' Sunday Mba who scored the solitary match-winning goal against Burkina Faso in the final. Keshi is now looking forward to showing what he can do on the global stage at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, having earlier been denied that opportunity by Togo.