Coach Leo Neiva has revealed why he wants to manage a Nigeria Professional Football League side.
The Brazilian who led the Saint Kitts and Nevis national team to a record second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, also enjoyed spells at Tanzania’s Young Africans and Sudan’s Al Merrikh.
He has now set his sight on continuing his coaching career in the Nigerian elite division, claiming the West African country is a ‘footballing giant in Africa’.
“Nigeria is a very traditional country in Africa and about football, it is a powerhouse of football,” said Neiva on Shina Oludare’s The Dialogue on Gist House App as monitored by Soccernet.ng.
Having won the Jamaica Premier League with Montego Bay FC, the Tanzanian Premier League and Super Cup with Young Africans, he is now looking forward to replicate that feat in Nigeria.
He went further stating why the likes of Rivers United, Remo Stars, and Plateau United stutter at African inter-club competitions despite their inspiring performances in the league.
The 45-year-old continued: “About the league, I mean the Nigeria Professional Football League, we can make it stronger and it would be a big pleasure for me, as a coach, to manage a club in Nigeria
“Since I work as a professional coach, I am able to analyze any proposition or offer,
“Naturally, it would be good for me as a coach to take over a prestigious Nigerian club and guide them to international events like the CAF confederation club.
“The important question is if the club’s stakeholders would agree with my coaching philosophy. This is the one that matters the most to me.”
Although the likes of Rafael Everton and Maurice Cooreman had managed NPFL sides in the past, the NPFL has not really incorporated employing expatriates. Even at this, the employment of Neiva could mark a new beginning.
It is worthy of note that the International Federation of Football History & Statistics placed the NPFL as the ninth-best league in Africa and 77th overall (IFFHS).
The Nigerian elite division is ranked above Belarus, Zambia’s Super League, and the Russian Premier League, despite being the ninth-ranked league in Africa.