Kadiri Ikhana is a legendary footballer and coach. He was a member of the famous national squad, the Green Eagles, that won the 1980 African Cup of Nations title in Lagos in 1980. Born in Ilorin on December 31, 1951, Ikhana is a talented and dogged superstar who played in the left full-back and made Nigeria proud in several competitions. He also featured for the national team at the Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980.

A colossus and pacesetter, Ikhana started his football career in the Nigerian Army. With enormous skills and potential to become a superstar, he left the army to devote his time and energy to football

He had a wonderful playing career, and was noted for his brilliance, discipline and resilience. These outstanding qualities brought him into the national team for the 1978Africa Cup of Nations Cup in Ghana where Nigeria finished third, clinching bronze medal. He also featured in the Nigerian Squad at the All-Africa Games in Algiers in 1978 where Nigeria won silver medal in the football final.

He had his club football career with Bendel Insurance of Benin. With Bendel Insurance, the club was crowned Premier League champion in 1978 and FA Cup winner in 1978 and 1980. He also played for the defunct Abiola Babes FC of Abeokuta. 

He has also been a great and successful coach, after retiring from playing football. He has been one of Nigeria’s most successful coaches. Among the clubs he has coached are El-Kanemi Warriors and BCC Lions. He made history as the coach of Enyimba FC. As the Manager of Enyimba, he led the club to win CAF Champions League in 2003 and to defend the title in 2004, the first Nigerian club to attain such a distinction. He was won the CAF’s Coach of the Year award.

At the national level, he was made manager of the men’s Olympic team, the under-23, in 2004, and later placed in charge of the Nigerian women’s national team in 2012.

Sometime in 2020, Ikhana experienced a health challenged which necessitated a corrective surgery. A holder of the national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), Ikhana is enjoying his retirement in Benin, Edo State.

EteteOnline Team

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