In the run-up to the highly anticipated 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Tom Saintfiet, head coach of the Gambia national team, has voiced his belief in Nigeria’s Super Eagles as potential champions, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Super Eagles, three-time AFCON titleholders, aim to secure their fourth victory at the tournament set to kick off in Ivory Coast this January. Nigeria’s last triumph was in South Africa in 2013.
Saintfiet, gearing up for his second AFCON appearance with Gambia after their debut in 2021, expressed his enthusiasm for Nigerian football during an interview on Brila FM, as per Complete Sports.
He acknowledged the eleven-year gap since the late Stephen Keshi led Nigeria to victory and sees the upcoming tournament as an intriguing opportunity for the Super Eagles.
“Everyone knows my passion and love for Nigerian football. It will be interesting to see how Nigeria will perform because, for me, they are one of the favourites. It’s been 11 years since (Late) Stephen Keshi won it for them,” Saintfiet stated.
Nigeria’s AFCON journey kicks off on Sunday, January 14, as they face Equatorial Guinea at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.
The Super Eagles then face the host nation in a pivotal encounter four days later at the same venue.
The group stage concludes on Tuesday, January 22, with Nigeria taking on Guinea-Bissau in their final Group C match.
Senegal are the reigning champions after they beat Egypt in the final at the 2021 AFCON to claim their first title.