Google on Tuesday celebrated with a doodle the 56th birthday of the late Nigerian football icon Stephen “Big Boss” Keshi.
The doodle, visible in all African countries, illustrates Keshi’s biggest achievement: winning the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations as a player and in 2013 as a coach.
Keshi is one of only two people to have accomplished this feat, along with Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gogary, who did so in 1959 and 1998 with the Pharaohs.
“Today we celebrate the life of Nigerian football icon Stephen Keshi. Football took Keshi all over the world, as he played across Africa, Europe, and the US. Known affectionately as “Big Boss,” he was beloved as a player for Nigeria’s national team, where he earned more than 60 caps, each for an appearance in an international match, and represented the country at the FIFA World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations,” reads the information attached to the doodle.
“Keshi is one of only two men to win the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a manager - a testament to his wit, talent, and love for the sport.”
On what would have been his 56th birthday if he were to be alive, former Super Eagles captain and coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi has been honoured by Google with a doodle. Continue to Rest In Peace Big Boss. 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/f8By9Fv6a0— Juliet Bawuah (@julietbawuah) 23 January 2018
A football legend
Keshi was born in Azar, Nigeria in 1962. He started his professional football career as a defender with ACB Lagos in 1979.
He became one of the first Nigerians to play abroad when he went to Cote d’Ivore’s Stade d’Abdijan in 1985.
He spent most of his career in Belgian clubs, particularly in Lokeren and Anderlecht.
In 1995 Keshi went to the United States to continue his career as a player and to be educated in coaching.
He made his first appearance for the Nigerian national football team in 1981 at the age of 20. He was part of Nigeria’s triumphing team at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations.
After picking up 64 caps and nine goals, he retired in 1994. Currently he holds the 10th spot in Nigeria’s most capped players list.
Between 2004 and 2006, Keshi coached the Togo national football team. He led the team to its unexpected first FIFA World Cup but was left out shortly before the tournament and was replaced by Otto Pfister.
In 2011, he was appointed as coach of the Super Eagles. He guided the team to a victory at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013.
After a series of disputes regarding unpaid wages and poor treatment, “Big Boss” temporarily left the Nigerian team in 2014.
He returned for a brief stint in 2015.
In 2016, he suffered a heart attack and died on his way to the hospital in Benin City, Nigeria.
“A big cheer for this football legend, on what would’ve been his 56th birthday!” reads his Google doodle.