Former Nigeria national football team captain, Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha, expressed confidence in the Super Eagles’ ability to compete for the 2023 AFCON title. Okocha praised the team’s wealth of talent and highlighted the challenging group stage draw against Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea Bissau.
He trusted Head Coach Jose Peseiro to mold individual talents into a formidable team for the tournament. Okocha acknowledged the selection dilemma faced by Peseiro, especially in the forward positions with players like Victor Osimhen, Victor Boniface, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Terem Moffi performing well at their respective clubs.
He emphasized the importance of a strong squad and believed the team had the right mix of experience and young talent.
Speaking from a player’s perspective, Okocha set high expectations, stating that reaching the semifinals should be the team’s minimum goal. He emphasized the players’ desire to win a medal and stressed the significance of giving themselves a chance to succeed in the competition.
In related news, Nigeria planned to prepare for the AFCON with international friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique. These friendly football matches would provide an opportunity to assess new players like Jordan Torunarigha and Fisayo Bashiru, as well as welcome back returning players such as Maduka Okoye, Sadiq Umar, and Chidozie Awaziem.