Portuguese coach, Peseiro Vitor dos Santos Peseiro exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations as he has now guided Nigeria to the title match of the Africa Cup of Nations.
His antecedents did not suggest this would happen as Nigeria will now face Cote d’Ivoire in the final match on Sunday.
Prior to now, the Super Eagles under him had been on a steady loss in relevance as the once most fancied team in Africa could not hold assert itself even in contest with far lower teams like Lesotho and Zimbabwe among others.
The pedigree of Peseiro did not support a dream of his leading Nigeria to glory in Afcon.
He had only previously handled two lowly-rated national teams – Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Peseiro’s other jobs were being assistant to other coaches and handling clubs in the fourth-tier Portuguese league.
As a player, he was a second-tier striker in Portugal. As he said in an interview on UK’s Sky Sport: “I did not play at a high level.”
His coaching career took a turn after promotion to the top flight with Nacional. A job offer set him on a different trajectory.
Legendary Portuguese coach, Carlos Queiroz made him his assistant at Real Madrid in 2003. That was Jose Peseiro’s biggest moment.
Peseiro was taking sessions with Raul, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo, with Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo. “Until then, I was afraid. Never before had I shared a dressing room with big players. But it was not difficult because they are so smart. It was fantastic.” The experience lasted only one season.
In his playing career, he never won any silverware. So also had been in his coaching career that started in 1992 with União de Santarém in Portugal.