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“Hurts more” – Jose Peseiro compares losing AFCON final with Nigeria and UEFA Cup final with Sporting CP

The former Porto manager has lost three of the four cup finals he has competed in for club and country

Coach Jose Peseiro has revealed that losing the final of the UEFA Cup as Sporting CP manager hurts more than losing the final of the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, Soccernet.ng reports. 

Peseiro guided Sporting CP to the final of the 2005 UEFA Cup, where his side lost 3-1 to CSKA Moscow.

Almost nine years later, Peseiro led Nigeria to the final of the 2023 AFCON, where the Super Eagles fell 2-1 to hosts Cote d’Ivoire.

On his return to Nigeria from the competition, Peseiro and the Super Eagles players were hosted to a dinner by President Bola Tinubu.

They were also conferred with national honours amidst fanfare and celebration.

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Peseiro expressed that the attitude of gratitude from Nigeria despite losing the AFCON final mirrored what he experienced with Manchester United when he was invited to be a part of a cup-losing crew.

The Portuguese tactician, however, confessed that Sporting CP ignored him and his players after the UEFA Cup final.

Peseiro admits the defeat to CSKA Moscow had the biggest impact on his career, mainly due to the i-don’t-care attitude of the Sporting CP Board.

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“(Compared to the AFCON final) Sporting’s one hurts more,” Peseiro said on the Futebol Total program on Canal 11, as per Leonino.

“Because we reached the final, we lost, and we didn’t even have dinner together. Sporting didn’t even give us a dinner.

Peseiro added: “I saw other finals, like the one in Manchester (United), where I was invited by (Carlos) Queiroz and (Alex) Ferguson because I had given information to Ferguson when I was there for 15 days negotiating Nani – Ferguson wanted the Zirkhov and Queiroz or Nani. As it went well, they invited me and my wife and we went to see the final in Moscow.

“The truth is that there was a party scheduled, even though we lost. A party with a rock group that came from Manchester. We had to go to the game in one outfit and then go to the hotel to change. It was a great party, even though we lost the final. I questioned Queiroz, and he said, ‘We lost the League Cup final and there was a party anyway’. In other words, at Sporting, we didn’t even have a party, which hurt more.

Peseiro continued, “At Sporting, it was a disappointment for everyone. When this happens and it’s so sad, it obviously becomes more marked. I was very sad… It was only two years later that I reviewed the game. Not here (AFCON). After four days, I was watching the game. It was another age and another way of thinking.”

Peseiro and the Nigeria Football Federation are yet to agree on a contract extension for the former Sporting CP coach.