When Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire face off in the final match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara on Sunday, two Nigerian players are set to make history depending on the outcome of the game.
Only two players are in the Nigerian squad when the team last won the title in 2013; they are Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo.
If the Super Eagles beat the Elephants in the final match on Sunday, the two veterans of the national team will enter the history books for good reasons.
Before now, no Nigerian player have ever won the AFCON title twice. The team won their first ever title in 1980 with different players from those that won it in 1994.
The set of player sthat won the trophy in 2013 are different from those that that previously clinched the title in 1980 and 1994.
Musa and Omeruo coud become the first set of Super Eagles players to win two AFCONs if they emerge as winners with the three time African champions.
“Like I said since the beginning of the tournament, we just want to win the title. Insha Allah, we will do that,” Musa posited.
“There is nothing special. It’s just for us to go out there. We know that the fans will support our opponents but won’t be on the field to play the match. We are just focused and will do what we know how to do best on the pitch.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I am a patient person. I have played for most of my teammates to win. Now if any player plays for me to win I don’t think there is anything bad in that. For me, the most important thing is to win. I respect my coach’s decisions.” He concluded.
It could also be the end of an era for both players if the team fails to win the title on Sunday.
In a similar vein as in 2013, Nigeria won the title undefeated with four wins and two draws from their six games at the competiton.
So far, Jose Peseiro’s side has won five of the six games with one on penalties against South Africa in the semi final.
A win for the team will be historic for the Portuguese who is also making his debut at the tournament as a coach.
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