The year 2016 is gradually coming to an end, but the Nigerian sporting world will never forget how two of the country's most popular football faces died shockingly.
While football fraternity will be celebrating the super falcons' feat at the 2016 AWCON in Cameroon, Rangers Int'l ending over three decades of trophy drought, super eagles' bright start to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, the death of former super eagles captain and coach Stephen Keshi and former team handler Amodu Shuaibu were the sad points in the year.
Both died mysteriously in the month of June 2016, within the spate of three days.
Born on January 23, 1962, Stephen Keshi died in the wee hours of Wednesday, June 8 after reportedly battling cancer for three years.
The former Anderletch defender was the first Nigerian to win the African Cup of Nations both as a player and a coach.
The Delta state born tactician led Nigeria as the team captain to the 1994 Cup of Nations' victory after beating Zambia 2-1 in Tunisia.
Keshi became coach of the Nigerian National Team in 2011 and he led Nigeria to qualification for the 2013 African Cup of Nations, hosted by South Africa, and they went on to win the championship defeating Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final.
The late 'Big Boss' also guided the home based Super Eagles to the CHAN competition in South Africa and came third.
He qualified and led Nigeria to 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil where the super eagles crashed out in the first knockout stage losing to France.
Nigeria will continue to remember Keshi for many positives as he's the last to have won the AFCON title for Nigeria after 19 years of wait.
He also qualified and led the super eagles to the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as making the country's home based Eagles claim the bronze medals at the African Nations Championships, CHAN, the feats no one has ever achieve for Nigeria.
As Nigerians were battling to come to terms the death of Stephen Keshi, Amodu who had paid a condolence visit to the late tactician also passed away two days later.
The five-time coach of the super eagles died in his sleep after complaining of chest pains on the night of Friday, June 10 at the aged of 58.
Amodu was until his death, the director of technical for all the national teams in Nigeria, a position he was occupying since 2013.
He will be remembered for various good reasons, majorly with the national team of Nigeria.
He has toured round the hot seat as super eagles handler for five times spanning through two decades.
On two occasions, Amodu qualified Nigeria to two FIFA World Cups (2002 and 2010) but was not allowed to take the team to the major competitions.
The former Niger Tornadoes' striker will also be remembered for laying a good foundation for Nigeria in the Beach Soccer having been the first coach to handle the national team and qualified for the 2006 Beach Soccer World Cup.
Sadly, the deaths of the two coaches came at a time when Nigerian football seriously needed inputs and advise from persons of their caliber due to their experiences of the game of football.
Nigerians will continue to remember them for their meaningful contributions to the development and achievements.