Super Eagles manager: What you need to know about the ex-Real Madrid assistant manger Jose Peseiro6 min read
Following the sack of Super Eagles Head Coach Gernot Rohr, the Nigeria Football Federation [NFF] announced Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro as new head coach of the Super Eagles just before the commencement of the 2021 Afcon tournament taking place in Cameroon. He won’t be leading the team to the competition though, but would be playing the role of an Observer with Augustine Eguavoen leading the team as interim manager.
Playing and Managerial Career
Born in Crouche, Portugal on April 4 1960, where he began his football career. Jose Peseiro starting out at Sport Lisboa e Cartaxo in 1979 played as a forward but his playing days however, didn’t see advancement beyond the second division of the Portuguese League.
In that competition, he represented Amora FC, Clube Oriental de Lisboa, GD Samora Correia and S.C.U. Torreense, for a total of five seasons.
He hung his boots at the age of 34 in 1994 while languishing in the fourth division with União de Santarém.
Peseiro has had a very nomadic career, and a significant antecedent of the 61-year-old is his short stints at wherever he has managed.
His longest job was at Nacional, where he spent 1460 days. Since then, he has never spent up to two years on a job.
Upon retirement, Peseiro thrust himself straight into the man-managing and tactics tinkering space of football management. Peseiro spent his first eight years as a manager in the third and fourth tiers of Portuguese football, starting out as a player-coach at his last team.
Then his big break came when he was appointed manager of C.D Nacional in 1999. He helped improve the club’s football, and within three seasons, he managed them to the Portuguese first division. In 2002–03, he led the team to a final 11th position.
In 2003, Peseiro was hired to be an assistant manager to fellow countryman Carlos Queiroz at Real Madrid. At the end of the campaign, after the team lost a considerable advantage on the table which saw them surrender the title to Valencia, then coached by a young Rafa Benitez, Los Blancos finished a distant fourth, barely qualified for the UEFA Champions League, and the duo was sacked.
Following a short spell at Real Madrid, Peseiro returned to Portugal where he signed with Sporting CP for the 2004–05 season. After starting the season in disappointing fashion, his side eventually finished in third place with 61 points, four behind champions S.L. Benfica, his team also ended the season as runner-up in the UEFA Cup where they lost 3-1 to CSKA Moscow despite taking the lead in the first half.
At the start of the 2005–06 season, Sporting CP were sent packing from the UEFA Champions League by Udinese Calcio, and after being relegated to the UEFA Cup they were immediately knocked out by Halmstads BK 4–4 on aggregate after a 2–3 home loss.
On 16 October 2005, following a 0–1 home defeat to Académica de Coimbra that saw Sporting drop to the seventh position, he resigned.
After about a year without a job, Peseiro moved to Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. Afterwards, he was appointed at Greek side Panathinaikos.
At the time, Panathinaikos were one of the biggest teams in Greece. Although he finished second in the Greek league, he was sacked after Olympiakos humiliated Panathinaikos 4-0 in the Greek Cup finals.
During his stay in Greece, the 61-year-old supervised 46 games. He won thirty of those, drew ten and lost six.
After getting sacked in Greece, Peseiro then took up the job at Romanian side Rapid Bucharest in February 2009.
The Portuguese tactician initially signed a three-year contract, but he spent less than a year after his poor performance. Of his 18 games, he won eight, lost five, and drew five.
Nevertheless, just a month after he was relieved of his duties in Romania, he continued his nomadic career. This time he was appointed to coach the Saudi Arabia national team. Unfortunately, he could not guide the Green Falcons to the 2010 World Cup.
Eventually, he got the sack after losing his first game against Syria at the 2011 Asian Cup. At the time, Syria were one of the poorest teams in Asia, while Saudi Arabia were one of the favourites after they finished as runners up in the previous Asian Cup in 2007. Peseiro coached Saudi Arabia for 17 games. He won six of those, drew seven, and lost four.
Barely six months after his sack at Saudi Arabia, he returned to Portugal to coach Braga. At the time, Braga were perennial underachievers. However, he guided them to their second-ever European competition. Still, he reached a mutual agreement to end his contract at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Peseiro then returned to Asia to coach Al Wadah. He spent about a year and a half at the UAE side, but it eventually ended after just over a year.
After that, he moved to Egypt in October 2015 to coach the most successful African team Al Ahly.
Hilariously, according to think marketing magazine, Peseiro’s Twitter handler received 6,471 tweets in less than 6 hours as Al-Ahly fans were not impressed.
He spent just 101 days on the job, as Al Ahly announced his sack, stating his inability to withstand pressure as the reason he was relieved of his duties.
Nonetheless, it looked like a calculated action as barely days after leaving Al Ahly, he joined FC Porto in January 2016.
He later revealed that he was in a hurry to leave Al Ahly for Porto, expressing his regret that he could not stay longer.
“I loved my time in Egypt, and I am happy that I got the chance to coach the African club of the century and one of the most remarkable clubs in the world, Al Ahly,” Peseiro told Kingfut.
“It wasn’t a long period, but that was for a reason like an offer from FC Porto.
“I hastened to leave Al Ahly. I should have continued for a longer period to devote my effort and my work to the team.”
However, he spent just six months on the Porto job, as after losing nine of his 22 games, he got sacked again.
Afterwards, he returned to Braga after losing his job at Porto. But after losing seven and drawing five of his 22 games, he got fired barely six months later.
The Portuguese manager did not stop moving, as just 16 days after he was fired at Braga, he joined Sharjah. But the 61-year-old had an abysmal run at the UAE side, winning only two of his 17 games, losing eight in the process.
Eventually, he was sacked again. Peseiro then returned to Portugal again in 2018 to coach Vitoria Guimaraes. But the 61-year-old left the side on mutual agreement.
After leaving Guimaraes, he returned to Sporting CP in mid-2018, but he was sacked after 123 days. Of his 14 games, he won nine, drew one, and lost four.
Then in February 2020, Peseiro spread his tentacles to South America. He got appointed as head coach of Venezuela.
However, his one and half year stay was a time to forget for both parties as he won just one of his ten games and lost six. He oversaw a disastrous 2021 Copa America outing which had the team eliminated from the group stage after two draws and two defeats. Before he left, it was reported he was being owed his salaries for almost a year.
Style of play and Managerial Honours
Peseiro loves possession football, trying to hug the ball for most embers of the game.
Unfortunately for Peseiro, his style of play has not paid dividends considering his poor statistics.
Also, Peseiro has won only four trophies in his 29-year career, albeit one came while he was an assistant at Real Madrid.
Overall, Peseiro has coached 362 games, winning 175, drawing 81, and losing 106.
All the teams he has coached have been defensively porous and also find it hard to score. Cumulatively, the 61-year-old’s tutored teams have scored 577, while they have conceded 426.
Segunda Divisão: 1999–00
AF Madeira Cup: 2001–02
Taça da Liga: 2012–13
Egyptian Premier League: 2015–16