Former Barcelona and Zamalek star applies for Super Eagles coaching job – report


Former Barcelona winger Emmanuel Amunike has taken the first step towards becoming the head coach of the Super Eagles, reports.

The head coach position of Nigeria men’s national team became vacant after Jose Peseiro left the role following the expiration of his contract after the conclusion of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Peseiro was in charge of the Super Eagles for 22 months, the highlight of his tenure being Nigeria’s impressive second-place finish at the AFCON in February.

However, less than 48 hours after the Nigeria Football Federation announced that it was taking applications for the position of the Super Eagles head coach, Amunike has applied.

According to Nigerian sports broadcaster Charles Anazodo, Amunike has submitted his application, concretising his interest in taking up the Super Eagles’ number-one coaching job.

Amunike’s playing career

Amunike, 1994 Africa Player of the Year, is one of Nigeria’s most successful players and a key component of the national team’s greatest achievements.

The retired winger scored twice in the final as the Super Eagles won the 1994 AFCON. He also netted the winning goal as Nigeria defeated Argentina to win the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games.

Emmanuel Amunike

Amunike scored two goals at the 1994 World Cup, including the Super Eagles’ only strike against Italy that nearly secured Nigeria’s passage to the quarterfinals.

At the club level, he won major titles with Egyptian giants Zamalek, Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon, and Spain’s Barcelona.

Amunike’s coaching career

After retirement, Amunike turned to coaching and handled a couple of youth teams in Spain before he was appointed the assistant coach of Saudi Arabian top-flight club Al Hazm in 2008.

He lasted for a few months at the job before he returned to Nigeria to become the head coach of Julius Berger. The following year, the former Albacete star took charge of Ocean Boys.

Amunike’s performance at the two NPFL clubs caught the attention of the NFF, and in 2012, he was named the assistant coach of the Golden Eaglets.

Under the leadership of Manu Garba and Amunike, the Golden Eaglets finished second at the 2013 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations and rode to glory at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013.

Emmanuel Amunike
Emmanuel Amunike

After the team’s triumph, Amunike was made the head coach of the Nigeria U-17 team, and the former Barcelona man put together one of Nigeria’s finest ever under-age squads.

The Golden Eaglets stumbled to a fourth-place finish at the 2015 U17 AFCON.

However, with Kelechi Nwakali, Samuel Chukwueze, and a certain Victor Osimhen in full flow, Nigeria beat all-comers to win the U17 World Cup in Chile.

After he left his role with the Golden Eaglets, Amunike managed Sudanese first-division club Al Khartoum before he was named the head coach of the Tanzanian national team.

After failing to reach the AFCON since 1980, Tanzania were in a bad place when Amunike took over.

Still, the former Super Eagles winger guided the country to reach the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.

He was, however, dismissed after Tanzania lost all their three group games at the tournament.

Following a brief stint with Egypt’s Misr Lel Makkasa, Amunike was named as assistant to Augustine Eguavoen, the interim head coach of the Super Eagles to the 2021 AFCON.

Nigeria exited the tournament in the knockout round and failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, and the coaching crew was disbanded.

Amunike, until last year, was on the book of Zambian giants Zanaco as a team consultant.

N.B: Is Emmanuel Amunike qualified as the next Super Eagles head coach? Leave your comments below.