Former Ghana captain Stephen Appiah has been leading tributes to former Nigeria captain Stephen Keshi, describing him as a true legend of the African game.
Keshi, one of only two men to win the Nations Cup as player and coach passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 54 to the shock of many in the world of football.
Stephen Appiah said: “Stephen Keshi is one of the legends of the African game. He always had a good word of advice. It is a big blow because we need people like him to encourage us because of what he has done and achieved.
“Both on and off the pitch, he gave a lot to his country. You never hear negative things about him, he commanded respect and people bowed at his name.”
“We wish him a safe journey wherever he finds himself. Apart from the fact that he was professional, he was a good guy”, former Ghana goalkeeper Abubakari Damba told TV3 Sports.
“In Senegal 92 after we beat Nigeria he came into the dressing room and congratulated everyone. It was rare given the intensity of the rivalry. This is a wonderful guy that we have lost.”
Damba also praised Keshi’s achievement as a player: “He should be eulogised by everyone. This is a young man who transformed himself into not just a very good player but a leader. He won the nations cup and transited into a very good coach who won the nations cup. That is a huge thing.”
Another ex Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson said Africa has lost a true icon: “He won a lot of things as a player and coach and had a good word of advice for everyone. It is sad. I hope his family would find the strength to cope with this huge loss.”