Former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr recently celebrated his 70th birthday, and in honor of the occasion, he reminisced about one of his extraordinary experiences while managing the Nigerian national team. Rohr, who had a successful playing career with Bayern Munich and Girondins Bordeaux, transitioned into coaching after retiring in 1989.
His coaching journey took him to various European clubs before he ventured to Africa, where he coached Tunisia’s Étoile Sportive du Sahel in 2008. He then served as the Technical Director for national teams in Gabon, Niger, and Burkina Faso before assuming the role of Nigeria’s head coach in 2016.
Rohr’s tenure with the Super Eagles lasted an impressive five years, making him one of the longest-serving coaches in the team’s history. During his time with the Nigerian national team, he achieved several memorable moments, including securing early qualification for the 2018 World Cup and guiding the team to a bronze medal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt.
In a recent revelation, Rohr shared an intriguing incident that went unnoticed during his time as the Super Eagles coach. He disclosed how the Nigerian Minister of Sports unexpectedly showed up at one of the team’s training sessions accompanied by a swarm of journalists. Faced with the possibility of being sacked if he refused to accommodate the Minister’s request, Rohr and his team swiftly arranged a mini ball-playing session, known as a “rondo,” to appease the Minister’s desire to participate.
Reflecting on the incident, Rohr expressed his bewilderment, stating, “Two years ago in Nigeria: suddenly, the Minister of Sports showed up at the training with 40 or 50 journalists and wanted to participate. I was perplexed. My assistant told me that we had to let him participate; otherwise, we would all be sacked the next day. Without further ado, we organized a rondo for him, and everything went well.”
Despite his notable achievements with the Super Eagles, Rohr’s tenure ended in 2021, just on the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. However, the septuagenarian coach has since taken charge of the Benin national team, embarking on a new chapter in his illustrious coaching career.
In conclusion, Gernot Rohr, the former Super Eagles coach, celebrated his 70th birthday and reflected on one of the extraordinary experiences he encountered while managing the Nigerian national team. Despite the challenges he faced, Rohr’s tenure brought numerous achievements for the Super Eagles, and he continues to make an impact in his coaching career with the Benin national team.