Daniel Amokachi

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Daniel Owefin Amokachi (born 30 December 1972) is a Nigerian former professional footballer, and former assistant manager of the Nigeria national football team.

He has been a technical director since 2006. With World Cup performances, he was third in the African Footballer of the Year award three times. As a forward, he was known for his speed, technique and physical strength, which earnmed him the nicknames Black Bull and Black Train. Amokachi, who is also very popular and well known in his country, contributed to Nigeria's top two tournaments to the World Cup along with his attack partner Emmanuel Amunike. Amokachi scored the first goal of the UEFA Champions League with Club Brugge on 25 November 1992, beating CSKA Moscow 1–0

Club career

Amokachi, nicknamed "The Bull", was discovered while playing for Ranchers Bees by Nigerian national team coach Clemens Westerhof, who brought the talented player to the 1990 African Nations Cup, and soon Amokachi moved to play for Club Brugge in Belgium. He competed in the new format of the Champions League, and became the first player to score in the competition, after his goal secured a 1–0 win in the opening match in the group stage against CSKA Moscow. Performing well in Belgium and at the 1994 World Cup, Everton became interested in Amokachi and their manager Mike Walker signed him for a fee of £3,000,000 ($4,700,000).

He went on to win the FA Cup with Everton in 1995, scoring two goals in the semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur after 'substituting himself' into the match while Paul Rideout was receiving treatment (the manager Joe Royle had only instructed him to warm up in preparation for possibly coming on). He appeared in the final only briefly, late on, again as a substitute but is remembered fondly for his beret-wearing celebrations afterwards.

International career

He played many international matches for Nigeria, and was part of the team that participated in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and 1998 FIFA World Cup and won the 1994 African Nations Cup. He also helped win the Olympic gold medal in 1996, scoring in the Gold Medal game itself against Argentina.

Amokachi sustained an injury just ahead of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, played one match at the tournament, but struggled with knee problems thereafter.

Managerial career

Amokachi managed Nigerian club Nasarawa United and later Enyimba Aba. In April 2007, he quit his role as assistant coach of the Nigeria national team. On 10 April 2008, Amokachi was re-appointed to Nigeria's national team, the Super Eagles, as assistant coach to Shuaibu Amodu, and then as assistant to Stephen Keshi.

In 2015, Amokachi managed Ifeanyi Ubah, resigning after five weeks in the post.In January 2016, he was named as manager of JS Hercules.

Honours

Everton

  • FA Cup: 1994–95
  • FA Charity Shield: 1995

Beşiktaş

  • Turkish Cup: 1997–98

Nigeria

  • African Cup of Nations: 1994
  • Olympic Games: Gold Medal 1996

Individual

  • Beşiktaş's Super League 2000th goal.
  • International Honorary Award of Sportsmen of Turkey: 2015
  • African Footballer of the Year Third: 1994 (France Football), 1995, 1996
  • UEFA Champions League First Goal: 1992
  • Belgian Ebony Shoes Award: 1992,1994
  • IFFHS 20th-century best player in Africa: 18th place
  • West African Club Championship 'The best young footballer' award: 1989
  • Pro League 'Most successful foreign player' award: 1992

Personal life

Amokachi is married to a Tunisian woman and has two twin sons named Kalim and Nazim who are following their father's footsteps in becoming footballers. Both are currently in the Besiktas youth academy.

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