Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, popularly known as the Big Boss, who guided Nigeria to the African Cup of Nations title, would have celebrated his 56th birthday if he were to be alive today. However, tech Giant, Google has honoured the legend with a doodle.
Doodles are changes made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.
Stephen Keshi died in June 2016, less than seven months after he lost his wife, Kate, to cancer.
Stephen won the African Cup of Nations for Nigeria as a player in 1994 and was the only Nigerian to have won the same tournament as a coach, a feat he achieved in South Africa in 2013. In the same year, he qualified the Super Eagles for the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, thereby becoming the first African coach to qualify two African countries for the World Cup finals.
Before guiding the Super Eagles to a successful AFCON, Keshi was in charge of Mali and Togo, with whom he enjoyed a measure of success. He was the first coach to qualify lowly Togo to for the 2006 World Cup. But he was sacked just before the tournament and was replaced by Otto Pfiser after the tiny West African country dismal showing at the 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
During his playing career, Keshi earned 60 caps for the Nigerian national football team, making him the nation’s second-most capped player at the time of his retirement. He represented the country at the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, captaining the Super Eagles to victory in the latter. He also played club football in five countries, most notably Belgium, where he won the Belgian league championship with R.S.C. Anderlecht in 1991.
As a manager, Keshi achieved success by qualifying Togo for the only FIFA World Cup appearance in its history in 2006. However, he left the position prior to the tournament and was replaced by Otto Pfister. He later coached his native Nigeria, where he became one of only two people, along with Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a coach.