The reigning African Footballer of the Year will be the biggest attraction at the 34th edition of the continental championship
Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has expressed his confidence in the Super Eagles to beat all odds and win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in the Ivory Coast, Soccernet.ng reports.
Despite being ranked number six on the continent, Nigeria is one of the favourites to win the AFCON, the tournament’s 34th edition.
World Cup semifinalists Morocco, reigning African champion Senegal, Mohamed Salah-inspired Egypt, and former winner Algeria are teams who fancy their chances of winning the AFCON, which kicks off on January 13.
To win, Nigeria must first qualify from Group A, where they have been drawn together with hosts Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau, before navigating several tricky knockout rounds.
Three-time AFCON winners, Nigeria have not lifted the trophy in ten years, but Osimhen believes that narrative is about to change.
The CAF Player of the Year is convinced that the Super Eagles have enough quality in the team to power past all opponents and make the nation proud at the AFCON.
Speaking at the team’s camp in Abu Dhabi after he was honoured by his teammates for his POTY win, Osimhen noted:
“The most important thing for us now is to go to Ivory Coast and win the tournament; I believe in this group, we have a bunch of talented players to execute the job, fingers crossed, and we are going to do so well.”
Victor Osimhen @victorosimhen9 on Super Eagles chances on winning the AFCON 2023— Olawale Ayeni 🇳🇬🇬🇧 (@VjWale) January 5, 2024
“The most important thing for us now is to go to Ivory Coast and win the tournament, I believe in this group, we have bunch of talented players to execute the job, fingers crossed and we are going… pic.twitter.com/x5mrUY3zQN
Osimhen was the top goalscorer during the qualifying campaign with ten goals, five more than his closest challenger, Senegal’s Sadio Mané.
The former Lille man will look to become the seventh Nigerian star to finish as the highest-scoring player at the AFCON.
Segun Odegbami, Rashidi Yekini, Julius Aghahowa, Austin Okocha, Emmanuel Emenike, and Odion Ighalo are the other Nigerians to have won the top scorer award in the tournament’s history.