A former assistant to late coach Stephen Keshi, Valere Hounandinou has given details of the life the former Super Eagles coach planned after coaching.
The former Super Eagles captain Stephen Okechukwu Keshi died in Benin on June 8, 2016 after he was said to have complained of a leg ailment.
Before his death, Keshi popularly called 'Big Boss' became the second African and only Nigerian to win the Nations Cup as a player and as a coach with Hounandinou as his assistant after Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary when he won the AFCON 1994 and 2013 respectively.
GET for FREE: Get the latest sports news on Naij Sports
The remains of the tactician was buried at the his family compound in Ukpologwu Quarters, Illah, Delta state.
Speaking to NAIJ.com Sports, Hounandinou described how his relationship with Keshi began in 1979 when they both played for ACB FC in Lagos.
The coach revealed that Keshi planned to write a book about his experience as a coach and also open a soccer school which would be modeled after the ones in America.
NAIJ.com Sports: You have been one of Stephen Keshi's best friends from your time together at Togo, how has it been?
My brother it was not Togo. Many people always say we met during our time in Togo but what people do not know about Keshi and I is that we have been together since 1979 when we both played for African Continental Bank (ACB) in Lagos.
I was coaching before he started his own career, when he came to Togo he met me there and saw him coaching a club in the north of Togo and that was how he called me to work with him. We are freinds and he is like a brother to me.
NAIJ.com Sports: How does it feel losing such a close friend and brother?
It is a big loss. He is my junior but I learnt a lot from him and it is a big loss to me and I cannot open my mouth to tell you how I feel.
PAY ATTENTION: Get the latest sports news on Naij Sports App
NAIJ.com Sports: What did Keshi plan to do after coaching? Someone wrote in the burial program that he was close writing a book. Did you know about the book?
Well, yea, I knew about the book. There was nothing we did not know about each other. I knew he was writing a book.
He was planning to have a modern football academy after his coaching career in Nigeria. Not the so called academies you see around that do not have schools. He was going to make his modern.
NAIJ.com Sports: What was his most characteristic as a coach? What made him standout amongst peers?
What I appreciate about him is that he is disciplined. He lays down the rules and tell you how it has to go, also he loves his job and he does not joke with time.
He takes his decision his decision himself. A lot of people think I make decision for him but its a NO. I can only suggest to him and he can agree with me.