The imminent qualification of the Togolese Hawks for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany has been attributed to the wonderful coaching prowess of former skipper of the Super Eagles, Steven Okechukwu Keshi.
Delivering this verdict in Lagos on last Tuesday, former captain of the Ghanian Black Stars, Abedi Ayew Pele, expressed strong belief in the ability of Keshi to qualify Togo for next year's FIFA World Cup even as he commended the efforts of the former Anderlecht defender, who he noted 'is the greatest African defender'.
"Keshi has always been a leader from the beginning and I am not surprised with the string of results he has achieved with the Togolese team, who despite being football minnows on the continent, are looking destined for a place at the World Cup finals in Germany.
"When you look at the development of Keshi as a player, you can't just help but concede that the guy has worked hard to get what he is reaping at the moment. He has learnt, acquired and he is now sharing it with the Togolese side, who are Africans. He is building them to become great players and I am happy for him because it is not easy for a player to transform into a fantastic coach.
"Keshi has done a fantastic job and it is good that Togo are almost at the World Cup. But it all boils down to the fact that Keshi is a good manager of players.
And he was an exceptional defender in his time, he defender that could score more than 10 goals in a season with clubs such as Anderlecht and Strasbourg. I am happy for him", added Abedi, who noted he frequently communicates with Keshi.
"I talk to Keshi every week, I even talk with his players and they hold him in high esteem", said Abedi.