Mutiu Adepoju claims Nigeria winning the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will help the country erase memories of failing to qualify for the World Cup.
- Nigeria missed out on World Cup 2022
- To face Algeria in an international friendly
- Adepoju feels winning Afcon 2023 will be a relief
WHAT HAPPENED? The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar after losing to Ghana during the play-offs. However, their attention now shifts to the biennial African showpiece billed for Cote d’Ivoire in 2024 – a tournament Jose Peseiro has vowed to win.
WHAT HE SAID: Speaking to GOAL ahead of Tuesday’s encounter against the Desert Foxes, the former Real Madrid midfielder says ruling Africa for the fourth time should be the main focus, not the result against the North Africans: “Well, it is okay if you feel the absence of the injured players will be missed. However, I expect other players to step up against the Algerians.
“Regardless of the outcome, Nigerians should keep faith with the Super Eagles because the coach has said he is building a team to win the Africa Cup of Nations which in my honest opinion is more important.
“That alone will be a soothing relief for Nigerians who are still sad over our absence from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Nigeria – with many injury worries – face Algeria without some of their key players. This game will help Peseiro build a formidable squad for next year’s qualification matches, as fringe players get opportunities to show their worth.
IN TWO PHOTOS
DID YOU KNOW: Nigeria’s best outing at the Fifa World Cup remains a Round of 16 finish achieved at USA 94, France 98 and Brazil 2014.
WHAT NEXT FOR NIGERIA? After taking on Algeria, Nigeria will try Portugal for size on October 17 in Lisbon.
Nigeria’s Afcon 2023 bid!
Can Jose Peseiro lead the Super Eagles to a fourth African triumph?