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Emmanuel Amuneke (for long misspelled Amunike;[1]) born 25 December 1970 is a Nigerian football coach and former player.

Emmanuel Amuneke
Emmanuel Amunike 2017.jpg
Personal information
Full name Emmanuel Amuneke
Date of birth (1970-12-25) 25 December 1970 (age 48)
Place of birth Eziobodo, Nigeria
Playing position Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990 Concord - (-)
1991 Julius Berger - (-)
1991–1994 Zamalek 71 (26)
1994–1996 Sporting CP 51 (17)
1996–2000 Barcelona 19 (1)
2000–2002 Albacete 17 (1)
2003 Busan I'Cons - (-)
2003–2004 Al-Wehdat - (-)
National team
1993–2001 Nigeria 27 (9)
Teams managed
2008 Al Hazm (assistant)
2008–2009 Julius Berger
2009–2011 Ocean Boys
2014–2017 Nigeria U17
2017–2018 Al Khartoum SC
2018–2019 Tanzania
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

A former winger, his professional playing career was blighted by injury.[2] He represented Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup.[3]


Club careerEdit

In his early career, Amuneke won the domestic league titles in Nigeria and Egypt, while playing for Julius Berger F.C. and Zamalek SC respectively. In 1994, he signed for Sporting Clube de Portugal, scoring seven league goals in his first season, including one against S.L. Benfica in the Lisbon derby (1–0 home win on 1 December 1994), and adding the campaign's Portuguese Cup.

In the 1996 December transfer window, Amuneke was bought by La Liga giants FC Barcelona for $3.6 million, making his official debut on the 22nd in a 1–0 home win against Celta de Vigo[4] and scoring on 15 March of the following year in a 1–0 success at CD Logroñés.[5] His spell in Catalonia would be effectively ended in the 1997 off-season after he suffered a serious knee injury, following which he appeared very rarely for the club (only three league games in three full seasons combined).

Amuneke never fully recovered from his condition after being released by Barça in 2000, playing for Albacete Balompié (also Spain, Segunda División), Busan I'Cons (South Korea, only a couple of months) and Al-Wehdat SC (Jordan), retiring from football at the age of 34. In 2008, he spent some time as an assistant coach at Saudi Premier League side Al-Hazm, but left to become a scout for Manchester United.

International careerEdit

Amuneke played 27 times for Nigeria, scoring nine goals.[6] He was part of the team that participated at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, a first-ever for the African country, scoring against Bulgaria (3–0 group stage win) and Italy (1–2 round-of-16 loss);[7] also in that year, he helped the Super Eagles win the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, eventually being voted African Footballer of the Year.

Additionally, Amuneke played all the games at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, scoring the winning goal in the final as the national team won the gold medal.[8] Knee problems kept him out of the 1998 World Cup.

Coaching careerEdit

On 23 December 2008, Amuneke took over the head coaching duties at former team Julius Berger, after completing two years of coaching courses in Europe.[9] For a while, he combined this position with the role for the Red Devils, but eventually quit his post in England to concentrate on his coaching career.

Amuneke was sacked halfway through his first season after conflicts with management, despite saving the team from relegation.[10] The club however later claimed he was sacked for "over gross insubordination". He was hired in early November 2009 as the new coach of Ocean Boys FC.[11] He became coach of Al Khartoum SC in November 2017, and left in March 2018.[12] Amuneke coached Nigeria's under 17 world cup winning team of 2015. On 6 August 2018, he was appointed as Tanzania national football team head coach.[13] He managed them at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, but the team were eliminated after the group stages after losing all three matches.[14] He left the role a few days later by mutual consent.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Amuneke's younger brothers, Kingsley and Kevin, were also footballers.[16] Both also played several years in Portugal, amongst other countries.


  1. ^ "EMMANUEL AMUNEKE: Love for coaching took me to Sudan". 3 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Las lesiones no dejaron cicatrices en Amunike" [Injuries left no scars in Amunike] (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  3. ^ The Super Eagle with broken wings;
  4. ^ "De 'Aguinaldo', bronca" [From 'Aguinaldo', boos] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 23 December 1996. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Amunike salva al Barça" [Amunike saves Barça] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 17 March 1997. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  6. ^ World Cup France 1998 – Nigeria; at Sports Illustrated
  7. ^ Eagles grounded as Baggio wakes;
  8. ^ Emmanuel AmunikeFIFA competition record
  9. ^ Amunike bags Berger job; All Africa, 23 December 2008
  10. ^ Why I left Berger Archived 7 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine; The Punch
  11. ^ Ex-Barcelona winger Emmanuel Amunike to coach Nigeria's Ocean Boys;, 3 November 2009
  12. ^ "Amuneke leaves his post as Sudan's SC Khartoum coach by mutual consent". BBC Sport. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Tanzania appoint former Nigeria winger Amuneke as head coach". BBC Sport. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Africa Cup of Nations: Tanzania must learn from exit, says Amuneke". 3 July 2019 – via
  15. ^ "Amuneke leaves post as Tanzania coach by mutual consent". 8 July 2019 – via
  16. ^ Scott, Carl-Gustaf (16 September 2015). African Footballers in Sweden: Race, Immigration, and Integration in the Age of Globalization. Springer. ISBN 978-1-1375-3509-2.

External linksEdit