Shock as Keshi dies

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

fi­ca­tion when ap­pointed but Ever­ton fin­ished 11th in 2015-16, his third year at the club.

In April, Saints chair­man Ralph Krueger said dis­cus­sions with Koe­man over a new deal were pro­gress­ing “in a very good di­rec­tion”, but added the club was “not in any real hurry”.

And last month the for­mer Ajax, PSV Eind­hoven and Barcelona de­fender said he ex­pected to stay with the Saints for the fi­nal year of his con­tract. Koe­man made more than 763 ap­pear­ances as a player, scor­ing 253 goals, and won the 1988 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship with the Netherlands.

He won the Euro­pean Cup - now the Cham­pi­ons League - with PSV Eind­hoven in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, scor­ing the win­ner for the lat­ter against Sam­p­do­ria at Wem­b­ley.

He also won four do­mes­tic league ti­tles apiece in the Netherlands and Spain. Koe­man has since man­aged Vitesse Arn­hem, Ajax, Ben­fica, PSV, Va­len­cia, AZ Alk­maar, Feyeno­ord and Southamp­ton. He has won the Dutch league with both Ajax and PSV. — BBC LAGOS — One of African football’s best-known fig­ures, Stephen Keshi, died yes­ter­day at the age of 54, the Nige­ria Football As­so­ci­a­tion has said.

A for­mer cap­tain of the Nige­ria na­tional team, Keshi was one of only two men to win the Africa Cup of Na­tions both as a player and a coach.

He also man­aged Togo and Mali, and his play­ing ca­reer in­cluded a spell for Bel­gian club side An­der­lecht.

He is thought to have suf­fered a heart at­tack, lo­cal media re­ported.

As a player, Keshi was part of the Su­per Ea­gles team that won the Na­tions Cup in 1994 and nar­rowly missed out on a World Cup quar­ter­fi­nal place the same year.

He coached the na­tional side over three spells, lead­ing Nige­ria to the 2013 Na­tions Cup ti­tle in South Africa and the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

His con­tract was not re­newed af­ter the World Cup but he later re­turned on a matchby-match deal fol­low­ing the team’s fail­ure to reach the 2015 Na­tions Cup fi­nals.

He was then sacked as care­taker coach but re­in­stated af­ter in­ter­ven­tion from then Nige­ria pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan. He was sacked for a fi­nal time last July. — BBC

For­mer nige­ria cap­tain Stephen Keshi.

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