A former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ndubuisi Emmanuel Egbo, made history on Sunday as he became the first African football manager to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
He led KF Tirana in Albania to the Albanian Kategoria Superiore title in his first season in charge after he was elevated from goalkeeping coach to the team manager in December 2019.
Egbo clinched the 25th league title for Tirana on Sunday after second-placed Kukesi lost 1-0, leaving Tirana with 69 points and a seven-point lead over Kukesi with two games left in the top-flight title.
With the feat, his club will now be placed in the second round of qualification in the UEFA Champions League next season and will be aiming to compete with other European top clubs in the elite competition in 2020/2021 season.
When Nuesroom called Egbo on Wednesday, he said he could not talk as he was preparing for a training session with his team in Albania.
This is what we know about Egbo:
Born July 25, 1973, in Aba, Abia State, Egbo was part of Super Eagles’ 2000 and 2002 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) squads that won silver and bronze respectively.
His profile seen by Neusroom revealed that he started his professional football career with NITEL Vasco of Enugu in 1993 before joining now defunct NEPA FC in Lagos (in 1994) which participated in the Nigerian top league in the 1990s. He later moved to Julius Berger (now Bridge FC) in January 1996. In the late 1990s, Julius Berger was one of the top football clubs in the country and the dream of many local footballers.
In July 1998 he travelled out of Nigeria to join El-Masry Sporting Club in Egypt, after three years at El Masry, he joined KF Tirana (his present club). Egbo would later return to El Masry in 2004 where he spent another four years of his goalkeeping career before moving to FK Bylis Ballsh in August 2008.
Egbo hung his booth as a professional footballer in July 2012 at FK Bylis Ballsh where he started his coaching career as an Assistant Manager, later as goalkeeping coach and manager of the club up till May 2014.
The former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper joined KF Tirana in August 2014 as an assistant manager and rose through the ranks as caretaker manager, goalkeeping coach until he was appointed as Manager in december 2019.
Since he took charge of TK Tirana he has played 16 matches – won 14, drew one and lost one match.
As a player, he won the Nigerian Premier League with Julous Berger in 1996, Egypt Cup with El-Masry 1998. He also won the Albanian Cup, Albanian Supercup, and Albanian Superliga with KF Tirana
In a league dominated by highflying European managers, Egbo has shattered glass ceiling with his latest achievement as the first football manager from Africa to win an European title that has qualified his team to compete in the Champions League.