Former Barcelona and Nigeria winger Emmanuel Amunike has signed a two-year deal as the new national team coach of Tanzania, according to the country’s football association.
Amunike, 47, faces a huge task to change the fortunes of the Taifa Stars, currently ranked 140 on the FIFA rankings.
The charismatic former Nigerian star’s first assignment begins next month when the Taifa Stars travel for a clash with neighbours Uganda in a 2019 African Nations Cup qualifier. The game against the Cranes of Uganda will certainly be a tough one.
Amunike takes over from Salum Mayanga as Tanzania coach.
The appointment of Amunike is certainly welcome considering African coaches, particularly on the continent do not always get the opportunities, and the support from the respective governments to showcase their abilities.
Here are 10 interesting things you need to know about the new Taifa Stars coach.
1. He played as a left winger.
2. Amunike played for the Super Eagles from 1993 to 2001, making 27 appearances and scoring 9 goals
3. He played for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup.
4. In 1994 Amunike scored the two goals that helped Nigeria win the Nations Cup final in Tunisia.
5. Amunike was also an Olympic gold medallist with Nigeria’s under-23 team in Atlanta in 1996.
6. At club level he also played for Portuguese club Sporting, making 51 appearances for the club with 17 goals to his name.
7. Before playing in Europe, he had previously won the domestic league titles in Nigeria and Egypt, playing for Julius Berger F.C. and Zamalek SC respectively.
8. Amunike also played for Spanish giants Barcelona from 1996-2000.
9. He was once a scout for Manchester United.
10. The charismatic former Nigerian star has held several coaching positions, and took Nigeria to the U-17 World Cup title in Chile. He coached Sdanese club Al Khartoum SC in November 2017, and left the club in March 2018.