Then NFA chairman, pa Chuba Ikpeazu, invited him to his office one day in 1989 and said these words: ‘We have been playing in the Nations Cup finals and we have even won it once when we hosted it in 1980. We will aporeciate you win the African Nations Cup but we are more interested in qualifying for the World Cup finals.
This is why we have engaged you. For all the talents we have, we have never qualified for the finals of the World Cup. It doesn’t justify our potential. We know we have administrative and coaching problems. You look a strong character and we know that we can make it because we have the players. Nigeria will never forget you if you take us to the World Cup. Please, do it for for us and leave the rest for me. ”
All his days in Nigeria, Ikpeazu’s words kept ringing in Clemens Westerhof’s head.
” He was emotional about the World Cup and I vowed I must be in the finals with Nigeria. I put everything into it and it feels great we did it in 1994,” Westerhof was later to say. He also won the Nations in Tunisia in 1994 and landed in USA as Africa’s champions. No foreign coach has achieved that much for Nigeria. In his kitty were also Nations Cup bronze and silver. Nigeria ranked 5 in in the world, the best any African country has ever attained in Fifa ranking.
Today, the Dutchgerian turns 80. This is wishing Nigeria’s BEST ever foreign coach a happy birthday. May God always bless his ways.