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Nigeria’s Super Eagles gear up for historic 20th appearance

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  • Nigeria will participate in its 20th  African Cup of Nations
  • The Super Eagles are in Group A with Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea Bissau
  • Quarter finalist at Cameroon 2021, Nigeria aims for the title

With a rich history that includes three championships, Nigeria is set to participate in the  Africa Cup of Nations for the 20th time.

The Super Eagles, known for their prowess, arrive in Côte d’Ivoire armed with formidable arguments, particularly on the offensive front, boasting talents such as Victor Boniface, Terem Moffi, Moses Simon, and Victor Osimhen.

Nigeria’s Group A Fixtures:

– January 14, 2024: Nigeria vs. Equatorial Guinea, 2:00 p.m. GMT, Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpé

– January 18, 2024: Ivory Coast vs. Nigeria, 4:00 p.m. GMT, Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpé

– January 22, 2024: Guinea-Bissau vs. Nigeria, 5:00 p.m. GMT, Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan

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Qualification Path:

Securing 15 points, the Super Eagles dominated Group A of the qualifiers, finishing ahead of Guinea Bissau,  the only team to defeat Nigeria during this phase.

Player to Watch: Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen, the top scorer in the  Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023, qualifiers with 10 goals, is undoubtedly the player to keep a close eye on throughout the competition.

Named the best male footballer player at the recent CAF Awards, the Lagos native embarks on his third AFCON campaign, describing it as the tournament of maturity.

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Osimhen’s key asset lies in his exceptional speed with the ball, enabling long-range attacks and exploiting spaces left by the opposition.

His distinctive playing style, coupled with clinical finishing, has shone in the Italian championship.

Coach: José Peseiro

Taking charge of the Nigerian national team in 2022, Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro will be working in Africa’s flagship tournament for the first time.

A UEFA Cup finalist in 2005 with Braga, the 63-year-old is a pragmatic strategist.

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Peseiro’s tactical approach draws inspiration from his playing days at Torreense club, advocating possession-based football with an offensive objective.

Emphasizing intense and immediate counter-pressing when possession is lost, Peseiro’s coaching philosophy aligns with the dynamic style embraced by his squad.

Nigeria’s AFCON Achievements 

  • 1976: Bronze Medalist
  • 1978: Bronze Medalist
  • 1980: Winner
  • 1984: Finalist
  • 1988: Finalist
  • 1990: Finalist
  • 1992: Bronze Medalist
  • 1994: Winner
  • 2000: Finalist
  • 2002: Bronze Medalist
  • 2004: Bronze Medalist
  • 2010: Bronze Medalist
  • 2013: Winner
  • 2019: Bronze Medalist

 -CAF

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.