Final 3: The foreign coaches shortlisted to battle Emmanuel Amunike for Super Eagles’ top job

The Super Eagles remain without a substantive coach nearly two months after Jose Peseiro vacated his post.

The Nigeria Football Federation is in a race against time to name a new head coach for the national team with about six weeks left to the crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and the Benin Republic.

After inviting applications from interested tacticians last month, the NFF had the difficult task of screening more than 60 coaches who applied for the job.

According to reports, the football body has drafted a final shortlist that includes several Nigerian coaches, including Emmanuel Amunike and Michael Nsien, who coaches the USA U20 team.

Three European coaches also reportedly made the final shortlist, and they are Danny Bujis from the Netherlands, Domnece Torrent from Spain, and Toni Conceicao from Portugal.

But who are these coaches, and what are their track records?‘s Imhons Erons took a closer look at the foreign coaches who could end up handling the Super Eagles.

Danny Bujis

Danny Bujis is the current head coach of Eredivisie club Fortuna Sittard.

At 41, he is the youngest European coach and the most surprising name on the NFF shortlist.

A versatile full-back who also operated as a defensive midfielder during his playing days, Bujis featured for Feyenoord, Groningen, and Sparta Rotterdam, among others in the Netherlands, as well as Scottish side Kilmarnock.

The Dordrecht-born star won the KNVB Cup in 2008 with Feyenoord and the Scottish League Cup with Kilmarnock in 2012.

He ended his career at amateur league side Kozakken Boys, and the club gave him his first chance in coaching in 2016.

He left two years later to take charge of his former club, FC Groningen, where he has enjoyed his longest spell, winning 50 games and losing another 60 in 138 matches.

On the first day in June 2022, Buijs was hired by Belgian club Mechelen, but he was only there for a few months before being dismissed in October.

Fortuna Sittard came to his rescue last summer and appointed him manager ahead of the 2023/24 season.

With four games left to play this term, Fortuna Sittard are 11th on the 18-team Eredivisie table after winning nine and losing 13 of 30 matches.

The club needs only one point to be free from any relegation worries.

Whether the club stays in the Dutch top flight or not, Buijs will jump at the chance to coach three-time African champions Nigeria.

Domènec Torrent

Born in Santa Coloma de Farners, Spain, Domènec Torrent grew up wanting to hit it big in football as a midfielder.

However, after failing to carve a successful playing career, Torrent went into coaching and handled a number of small clubs in the 90s and early 2000s.

His big break eventually arrived in 2005 when he was named the manager of Girona.

Barcelona found alignment in Torrent’s possession-based football philosophy and appointed him as assistant coach of their B team.

When Pep Guardiola was made manager of Barcelona’s first team, he asked Torrent to be his assistant, a request the older man obliged.

After the two enjoyed incredible success at Barca, they moved to Bayern Munich and recorded similar feats.

Guardiola and Torrent went to Manchester City together in 2016.

In 2018, after earning recognition as Guardiola’s longest-serving assistant, Torrent left Manchester City to go and head the coaching team at New York City.

Brazil’s Flamengo, the reigning champions of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, snapped him up in 2020.

He lasted barely three months in charge, though, as his record of 15 wins, five losses, and six draws was not good enough for Flamengo.

After over a year without a club, Torrent became Galatasaray’s manager in January 2022. The 61-year-old was sacked by June after a run of poor results.

Toni Conceição

António Conceição da Silva Oliveira is a retired full-back who played all his club football in Portugal, wearing the colours of Braga, Vizela, Porto, etc.

He made only one international appearance for Portugal before calling time on his career in 1991.

After quitting playing, Conceição turned to coaching and managing clubs in Portugal, Romania, Cyprus, and Saudi Arabia with varying degrees of success.

Despite spending over 12 years handling clubs in his homeland, Conceição’s best outing in Portugal is leading Trofense and Moreirense to win the second-division title.

However, Conceição’s CV has been boosted by his spell in Romania, where he led CFR Cluj to two league titles and four cup honours.

Conceição landed a job in Africa for the first time in 2019 when Cameroon named him the national team coach following the exit of Clarence Seedorf.

He led the Indomitable Lions to the semifinals of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which Cameroon hosted before his team was stopped by Egypt.

Cameroon won the third-placed match against Burkina Faso to claim the bronze medal. Still, Conceição was sacked after the tournament.

The 62-year-old has been without a job since.

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