Former Super Eagles coach Clemence Westerhof is 82 today. Born May 3, 1940, the Dutch is arguably Nigeria’s most successful football manager of all times.
Westerhof led Nigeria to a golden generation era between 1989 to 1994. He guided Nigeria to 3 Africa Cup of Nations, where they won Silver-1990, Bronze-1992 and Gold-1994.
He also guided Nigeria to qualify for her first ever World Cup at the USA 1994 World Cup. Prior to going to the World Cup in June 1994 Nigeria reached 5th position on FIFA ranking. The first ever and highest ranking to be ever reached by an African nation till date.
At the USA 1994 FIFA World Cup Nigeria finished top of group, an outstanding feat from a team making her debut in a group were Bulgaria and Argentina finishing second and third behind Nigeria in the group.
Aside helping Nigeria play a brand of football which earned her global recognition. Westerhof also handed over Nigeria a set of players who later metamorphosed towards becoming managers.
The likes of late Stephen Keshi, Austin Eguavoen,Sunday Oliseh, Samson Siasia all handled Nigeria’s national teams. Others are Daniel Amokachi, Nduka Ugbade, Emmanuel Amuneke to mention but a few
Interestingly, it was one of them the late Stephen Keshi, who guided Nigeria to her third AFCON title.