Nigeria’s captain, William Troost-Ekong, expresses his fervent desire to lift the Africa Cup of Nations trophy, considering it a moment of immense significance for himself and the nation.
Following a hard-fought victory against South Africa in the semi-finals, the Super Eagles have secured their spot in Sunday’s final in Abidjan, where they will face tournament hosts Ivory Coast at 20:00 GMT.
This marks Nigeria’s first appearance in the final since their triumphant campaign in 2013, when they clinched their third continental title.
Troost-Ekong, a central defender, reflects on the magnitude of the occasion, stating, “You dream about moments like that. I’ve seen it so many times. And I’ve closed my eyes. To actually be there on Sunday and have the chance to do that will be amazing.”
Despite Nigeria’s underdog status prior to the tournament, the team has defied expectations, emerging as the top-ranked side since the conclusion of the last 16 stage, notably since formidable opponents like holders Senegal, Morocco, and seven-time champions Egypt have been eliminated.
Manager Jose Peseiro attributes the team’s success to their unwavering belief and determination. He asserts, “When I signed the contract, I said I want to win the AFCON. Either way, I don’t know if everybody believed or not.”
He continues, ” I have believed since the first moment. We haven’t won nothing until now; we want to win the AFCON.”
As Nigeria prepares for the final showdown, the entire nation awaits with bated breath, hoping to witness their beloved team hoist the coveted trophy once again.