On June 7, 2016, the entire football fraternity in Nigeria and many parts of the world were thrown into serious mourning following the death of former Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi.
And since the day he died, many football lovers, players, journalists have been battling to cope with the rigors of his death considering his achievements and closeness to many.
Even in the grave, Stephen Keshi remains the only Nigerian who has won the African Cup of Nations as a player and coach.
Egypt's Mahmoud El-Gohary is the only African who shares the same success with the man who was popularly known as 'Big Boss'.
Many players played under Stephen Keshi when he was the Super Eagles coach, and here we take a look at some of them that were badly touched following the demise of the former Togo and Mali coach.
1. Ogenyi Onazi
Super Eagles defensive midfielder Ogenyi Onazi currently plays for Turkish club Trabzonspor and he will never forget the role Stephen Keshi played in his career.
Onazi was not given the chance in the national team until Stephen Keshi gave him the chance against Venezuela on November 15, 2012 in which Nigeria won 3-1 and Onazi even scored the third goal at the death.
Today, history can bare witness that Ogenyi Onazi is a regular in the Super Eagles thanks to the late Stephen Keshi who gave him the opportunity when no one believed in him.
2. Sunday Mba
Sunday Mba is a Nigerian football star whose career seems to have gone to oblivion, but he would ever be remembered for scoring the goal that helped Nigeria win the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Stephen Keshi faced the heat from top sports administrators and even journalists when he included Sunday Mba's name among his wards for the 2013 Nations Cup, but the former Enugu Rangers' man did not disappoint the Big Boss, instead he became a hero.
3. Gabriel Reuben
If Stephen Keshi is alive today and still remain Super Eagles coach, then it is expected that Gabriel Reuben will be in the Super Eagles considering the love Keshi had for the former Kano Pillars' star.
Keshi even exemplified his love for Gabriel Reuben and was nonchalant to severe criticism when he was injured as he took him to the Nations Cup and also the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
4. Kenneth Omeruo
Kenneth Josiah Omeruo is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Kasımpaşa on loan from English club Chelsea and also the Super Eagles.
Keshi gave Omeruo the confidence and took him to the 2013 African Cup of Nations where he was superb.
5. Godfrey Oboabona
Godfrey Itama Oboabona is a Nigerian international footballer who plays for Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli as a defender, and he came to limelight when late Stephen Keshi took him to the 2013 African Cup of Nations as an home based player.
Former Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo sat on the bench for Oboabona at the AFCON 2013 in South Africa.
Oboabona will forever be indebted to late Stephen Keshi for the chance he gave him to become an AFCON winner.
6. Chigozie Agbim
Despite serious attack from all sections that Stephen Keshi should drop former Gombe United goalkeeper, the Big Boss never listened to anyone as he gave him the confidence.
READ ALSO: 5 memories of Stephen Keshi Nigerians will never forget
Keshi took Agbim to the 2013 AFCON as third choice goalie and also to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Agbim was in goal for Nigeria at the 2014 CHAN where the Super Eagles won bronze medal.
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