Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire will Clash in thrilling 2023 AFCON finals as Jose Peseiro acknowledges opponent’s favoritism
In a heart-stopping showdown at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals on Sunday, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire will battle for glory in an electrifying match that will keep football fans on the edge of their seats. The tension will be palpable as both teams have already demonstrated exceptional skill and determination in the group stage and the tournament.
In a surprising turn of events, Super Eagles’ coach Jose Peseiro in a pre-match statement acknowledges the host Country Cote d’Ivoire as the AFCON favorite but insists he will win the AFCON for the people of Nigeria.
Peseiro and Musa, who appeared before the Press on Saturday for their pre-match conference ahead of Sunday’s big final, reiterated the desire of the team to achieve their goal, which is to win the AFCON at the end of the encounter.
“Playing a final is always important. This is my first AFCON. Some were saying it’s been special, and I can attest to that. The emotions in Africa are very special. All of this, in my opinion, is a great way to learn and I would love to win it with the Nigerian team tomorrow,” said the gaffer at a press conference in Abidjan on Saturday.
“I learned tremendously here. There is joy when you win but difficult when you lose so it is very important to find a balance. We have a great squad of players that want to win this for Nigeria. Some are newcomers to the squad but have played in other competitions. Football brings a lot of emotion, more than any sport and this is important for Nigeria
“Congratulations to Cote d’Ivoire for reaching the final, they are the favourite, but we want to win the AFCON”.
Musa, who has not featured much for the Super Eagles in Cote d’Ivoire is a very important player for the squad according to Peseiro, who said that the experience he brings was very important to the squad.
“Ahmed is much more than a player. He helps us a lot. He advises and informs me about many things. Up to now, he has done so many things. He has won the AFCON. He is the captain and I want to win the AFCON tomorrow so I can see Ahmed lift this cup”, concluded Peseiro.
The acknowledgment from Peseiro has already added an extra layer of anticipation to the already high-stakes encounter. Fans are speculating on whether Nigeria will live up to the expectations set by their coach or if Cote d’Ivoire will defy the odds and secure a historic AFCON victory.