President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick on Saturday described late Amodu Shuaibu as “the man whose name is synonymous with the Super Eagles,” in acknowledgement of the tactician’s four –time stint with the Nigeria senior team.
The former BCC Lions, El-Kanemi Warriors, Shooting Stars and Orlando Pirates technician died in his sleep in the early hours of Saturday, after complaining of chest pains on Friday night. He was known to be hypertensive, and had rejected taking over the Super Eagles’ coaching job in February on this ground.
Amodu took charge of the Super Eagles for the first time in 1994, at the age of 36, and would go ahead to take charge of the team in 1999, 2001-2002 and 2008-2010.
He qualified the Super Eagles for the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and 2010, but did not lead the team to the finals. He also qualified the Beach Soccer National Team, Supersand Eagles, for the 2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, but did not lead the team at the finals as he refused to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He was also the first Nigerian to qualify the Super Eagles for the FIFA World Cup, when alongside Stephen Keshi (who died on June 8) and Joe Erico, he rescued the Eagles’ flagging ship to win the last three matches of the campaign and reach the finals in Korea/Japan 2002, following the departure of Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere.
When he led BCC Lions of Gboko to win the Nigeria FA Cup in 1989, it was the first time a team from northern Nigeria would triumph in the competition in 36 years. The following year, he led BCC Lions to win the now –defunct Africa Cup Winners Cup. The team reached the final of the same competition in 1991.
When he left BCC Lions, Amodu steered El-Kanemi Warriors to win the FA Cup. He is the most decorated coach in Nigeria FA Cup history, having won it in 1989, 1992, 1993 and 1994. He won the Nigeria League and Cup double in 1994, and won the Super Cup in 1989, 1993 and 1994.
In his four stints with the Super Eagles, the Okpella –born tactician won 26 of a total of 53 matches, drawing 15 and losing 12.