• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ten intriguing things to know about new Super Eagles Coach, Finidi George

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On Monday, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board endorsed the proposal from its Technical and Development Committee to appoint former winger Finidi George as head coach of  Super Eagles.

Finidi, 53-year-old tactician served as assistant to José Peseiro for 20 months before the  Portuguese left his role after guiding Nigeria to a second place finish at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Here, BusinessDay takes a look at ten fascinating things to know about Super Eagles coach, Finidi, regarded as one of Nigeria’s greatest winger of all time.

1. Early Life: Finidi George was born on April 15, 1971, in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and grew up in a family of football enthusiasts.

2. Clubs in Nigeria: He began his football career in his home country, playing for three clubs; Calabar Rovers, Iwuanyanwu Nationale and Sharks football club before making his mark abroad.

3. Ajax Success: Finidi’s breakthrough came at Ajax in the Netherlands, where he became a key player in a team that won eight major titles, including the prestigious UEFA Champions League in 1995.

4. Iconic Number 7: Throughout his career, Finidi proudly wore the number 7 jersey for the Nigerian national team, becoming synonymous with his country’s footballing legacy.

5. Meaning of His Name: The name “Finidi” translates to “a future full of sun” in English, reflecting optimism and brightness.

6. Family Ties: Football runs in Finidi’s family, with two of his brothers, Igeniwari and Celestine, also pursuing careers in the sport. Tragically, Igeniwari lost his life during crowd disturbances at a match.

7. International Career: Finidi represented Nigeria in two FIFA World Cups during the 1990s, cementing his status as a key player for his national team.

8. Coaching Career: Following his retirement from professional football, Finidi transitioned into coaching. In September 2021, he was appointed as the head coach of Enyimba F.C., one of Nigeria’s prominent football clubs.

9. First Coaching Success: Finidi’s coaching journey saw him achieve his first major title on June 11, 2023, when he guided Enyimba to victory in the Nigeria Premier Football League, marking a significant milestone in his coaching career.

10. Continued Influence: With his wealth of experience as a player and now as a coach, Finidi’s impact on Nigerian football continues to be felt, both on and off the field.