Being the coach of the Nigerian national football team is one of the most demanding jobs in world football, but the Franco-German tactician believes he’s on the path to success
Gernot Rohr says he has improved the fortunes of the Super Eagles since he started managing the team almost four years ago.
Before the Nigeria Football Federation hired the 66-year-old gaffer in August 2016, the Super Eagles had failed to qualify for two consecutive editions of the African Cup of Nations.
The three-time continental champions, evidently going through one of their lowest ebbs in recent times, had also slipped out of CAF’s list of the ten best teams in Africa.
But Rohr’s appointment turned things around for the better, with Nigeria qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 AFCON, and currently ranked the third-best team on the continent.
The former Bordeaux manager then led the team to the semifinals of Egypt 2019, losing 2-1 to eventual winners Algeria.
Having only just extended his contract with Nigeria for another two and a half years, Rohr is convinced he is doing an excellent job of building a Super Eagles team capable of conquering African soon.
“It’s a very young team, but the mission is not finished yet, so we want to continue.
“We all have to make sacrifices, and I will be the first.”
“Let’s qualify for (the Nations Cup), and then we want to win it.
“We have a good team; we’re now number three in Africa. When I arrived (in 2016), we were number 13.
“We have worked together for the past four years, and I hope we can progress.”
One of the harshest criticisms Rohr has faced since taking charge of the Super Eagles is his refusal to invite home-based players into the national team set-up.
The one-time Gabon coach, however, insists not much may change in that respect as he is committed to inviting only the best legs to the team.
“I pick the best players, and I don’t do it alone,” he said.
“We have to take the best players no matter where they are coming from.
“We have very good young players, so it’s difficult for the local players to break into the team.”