FORMER Super Eagles skipper Joseph Yobo has been named as the team’s assistant coach replacing Imama Amapakabo as part of the Nigerian Football Federation’s (NFF) preparations for the 2022 World Cup.
Yobo, 39, who played in the English Premier League for Everton and Norwich City, came through the youth ranks of the Nigerian national team, featured for the U20 team the Flying Eagles in 1999. He then graduated into the senior team two years later, making his Super Eagles debut in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match away to Zambia in Chingola in April 2001.
By the 2002 African Cup of Nations, Yobo had become a regular starter in the team and then went on to represent Nigeria in the World Cup that year in Japan/Korea. Nigeria’s joint most capped player with 101 appearances for the Super Eagles, Yobo featured in three World Cups, having also participated in the 2010 and 2014 tournaments.
He also played in six Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013, helping Nigeria lift the trophy in 2013. A thoroughbred and dedicated professional who played his club football in five countries, including Marseille in France, Fenerbahce in Turkey, Standard Liege in Belgium and Tenerife in Spain, Yobo was the eagle’s most reliable centreback in his heyday.
In his new capacity as assistant coach, Yobo will work alongside team manager Gernot Rohr to qualify the Eagles for the 2021 African Cup of Nations and the 2022 World Cup. In 2007, Yobo set up the Joseph Yobo Charity Foundation to help under-privileged children, which among other things, hands out scholarships to pupils from primary school to university level.