Jose Peseiro: Meet Nigeria’s new coach, who is a journeyman and friends with Mourinho

On Wednesday evening, the NFF announced Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro as the new coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

And in the usual fashion with the NFF’s foreign managerial appointments, the name Peseiro would leave even some of the most knowledgeable football fans in limbo. However, Soccernet has got you covered.

José Vítor dos Santos Peseiro is a 61-year-old retired footballer turned coach from Coruche, Portugal

Peseiro has been a journeyman throughout his coaching career. He has coached teams in different parts of Europe- from the big boys to the peripheral ones.

He has spent time in Asia, South America, and the Super Eagles job will be his second job in Africa.

Coaching Career

The 61-year-old kicked off his managerial career in 1992 at amateur Portuguese side União Desportiva de Santarém.

After two years on the job, he moved on to two other amateur sides within six years before moving to Nacional in 1999.

Peseiro spent four seasons at the Portuguese side, helping them to the Portuguese top-flight in his third season.

However, he left Nacional for Madrid in 2003 to serve as assistant coach to Carlos Queiroz while at Real Madrid.

Unfortunately for Peseiro, they were sent packing just after a year due to poor results.

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. Before he left, it was reported he was being owed his salaries for almost a year.

A Journeyman and short-term manager  

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.

Friendship with Mourinho 

Meanwhile, Peseiro is friends with former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho. The two met while they were training to be coaches.

In fact, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick told reporters he spoke to Mourinho before appointing Peseiro. 

Different Football Philosophy

Still, Peseiro and Mourinho have different philosophies. While the Roma gaffer is known to play defensive football, 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.

NFF be warned

The NFF is known for owing coaches salaries, but Peseiro is a man that will walk away if he is not paid on time.

Before he resigned from the coaching post at Venezuela, he revealed that he was owed for fourteen months, which was the major reason both parties parted ways.

“We did everything, really everything,” Peseiro told

“Until we felt that there were no more conditions to continue. Despite all the steps taken, we reached a situation of 14 months salary arrears. Something we considered unsustainable.”

Mais football later reported that Peseiro was taking the Venezuela football association to court over unpaid salaries.

And as usual with the NFF, owing salaries is an issue that continues to linger.

A date with his former boss 

The former Porto manager will be with the team when they go out for battle in Cameroon. And interestingly, although he may not be on the sidelines, his Nigerian side will square off against his old boss Queiroz who is now Egypt’s coach.

A few weeks ago, before he was confirmed for the Super Eagles job, Peseiro praised his former boss stating that he believed that Queiroz would lead the Pharaohs to victory.

“Queiroz has a lot of experience, he was my professor at the university, and after that, he made me his assistant at Real Madrid.”

“He has great experience in the biggest leagues in the world, England and Portugal and in the national teams and qualified for the World Cup several times.”

“I expect that the Egyptian team will qualify for the World Cup under him,” Peseiro told Al-Hayah TV.

“Queiroz doesn’t have a fixed way of playing. It depends on how things are going and the capabilities of the players. He’s one of the greatest coaches.”

However, now that he is the manager of the Super Eagles, his stand is likely to have changed.

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