Peseiro Misses Out of Algeria Job, Shifts  Focus Back to Eagles 

Peseiro Misses Out of Algeria Job, Shifts  Focus Back to Eagles 

*Petkovic replaces Djamel Belmadi as Desert Warriors new coach

Femi Solaja

Jose Peseiro’s quest to step into the Algerian national team job vacated by Djamel Belmadi has hit the rock following the appointment of Vladimir Petkovic as the new Head Coach of the Desert Warriors.

Petkovic is expected to arrive in Algiers this weekend. A news conference is already scheduled for Monday to unveil him to the Algerian public, the Algerian Football Federation announced in a statement on Thursday.

Petkovic’s seven-year spell with Switzerland ended after the team was beaten in the Euro 2020 quarterfinals by Spain in a penalty shootout.

Switzerland beat France on penalties in the Round of 16 after scoring two late goals in regulation time of a thrilling 3-3 draw under Petkovic’s watch.

The appointment of the Bosnian-born Swiss professional manager has now put to rest speculations concerning Peseiro as likely candidate to next coach Algeria, winners of the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.

With the Algerian post now gone, Peseiro whose contract with Nigeria expired with AFCON 2023 in Côte d’Ivoire, is believed to shift his radar back to Abuja with the prospect of leading the Super Eagles to the 2025 AFCON in Morocco and the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

The Portuguese surpassed the semi final target handed to him by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) leadership at the AFCON 2023, He returned to Abuja from Côte d’Ivoire as runners up, beaten only in the championship match on the last day of the tournament.

Although no senior official of the NFF was willing to speak on wether the federation has opened contract talks with the Portuguese, the body language at the Sunday Dankaro House in Abuja is for Peseiro to continue on the job.

Nigeria will open the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic in June.  With the proposed international friendly with world champions Argentina in the USA  this March now cancelled, it appears the Super Eagles may not utilize the FIFA window with a substantive coach in place.

Independent sources at the Federal Ministry of Sports Development however hinted last night that pressure may mount on the NFF to appoint a new coach shortly in other to build on the success recorded at the AFCON 2023.

“ We must build on the momentum of the AFCON by ensuring that we don’t allow any vacuum in the coaching crew of the Super Eagles,” observed the top government official who will not want to be quoted on the matter.

Although, the official didn’t state if the indigenous coaches that worked under Peseiro will be asked to carry on from where the Portuguese stopped. “We just want Super Eagles to have quality coaches to continue,” the officiating concluded without letting out hint of who to step into the Eagles job.

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