Former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, has taken a nostalgic trip down memory lane, recalling one of the extraordinary experiences he encountered while managing the Nigerian national team, Soccernet.ng reports.
Rohr, whose playing career included stints at Bayern Munich and Girondins Bordeaux, transitioned into coaching after retiring in 1989.
His coaching journey led him to various European clubs before he ventured to Africa, where he took charge of Tunisia’s Étoile Sportive du Sahel in 2008.
Subsequently, he served as the Technical Director for national teams in Gabon, Niger, and Burkina Faso before assuming the role of Nigeria’s head coach in 2016.
Rohr’s tenure with the Super Eagles lasted an impressive five years, making him one of the longest-serving coaches in the team’s history.
During his time with the Nigerian national team, Rohr orchestrated several memorable moments, including securing early qualification for the 2018 World Cup and guiding the team to a bronze medal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt.
However, in a recent revelation, Rohr disclosed an intriguing incident that went unnoticed during his tenure as the Super Eagles coach.
The German tactician disclosed how the Nigerian Minister of Sports unexpectedly showed up at one of the team’s training sessions accompanied by a swarm of journalists.
Faced with the possibility of being sacked if he refused to accommodate the Minister’s request, Rohr and his team swiftly arranged a mini ball-playing session, known as a “rondo,” to appease the Minister’s desire to participate.
Reflecting on the incident in an interview with FC Bayern, Rohr expressed his bewilderment, stating, “Two years ago in Nigeria: suddenly, the Minister of Sports showed up at the training with 40 or 50 journalists and wanted to participate.
“I was perplexed. My assistant told me that we had to let him participate; otherwise we would all be sacked the next day. Without further ado, we organized a rondo for him, and everything went well.”
Despite his notable achievements with the Super Eagles, Rohr’s tenure ended in 2021, just on the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The septuagenarian coach has since taken charge of the Benin national team, embarking on a new chapter in his illustrious coaching career.