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Equatorial Guinea national football team players, coach, world rankings, AFCON, nickname
Football in Equatorial Guinea has evolved since the Spanish colonists introduced it. As a result, Guinea national football team has made quite an impact, including beating some of the top-ranked teams in Africa. So, when did Equitorial Guinea become a FIFA football member? This article delves into its history, current squad and achievements.
There are different kinds of sports enjoyed by people across the globe. However, some countries develop more interest in specific ones and give less attention to the others. So, what is the most popular sport in Guinea Equatorial? Join us as we find out that and more.
- Full name: Equatorial Guinea national football team
- Nickname: Nzalang Nacional
- Founded: 1960
- Controlled by: Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol
- FIFA entry: 1986
- Confederation: CAF
- Stadium: Nuevo Estadio de Malabo
- Current coach: Juan Micha
- Captain: Emilio Nsue
- FIFA ranking: 114 (as of December 2021)
- FIFA code: EQG
Football was initially introduced to the West African nation by Spanish colonists in 1960. It is now the most loved and followed sport in the country. The Equatorial Guinea national football team's nickname, Nzalang Nacional, means 'The National Thunder', referring to the vicious storms experienced in the rainy season.
Equatorial Guinea national football team's Afcon campaign
The West African country made their Afcon debut in 2012, which they co-hosted with Gabon. The Nzalang Nacional stunned many by eliminating Senegal and Libya in their group A encounters to qualify to the quarter-finals. However, a 3-0 defeat to Ivory Coast brought an end to their campaign.
In 2015, they returned to the competition as hosts, replacing Morocco as hosts. After the Atlas Lions pulled out of hosting the tournament due to Ebola concerns, Equitorial Guinea grabbed the rare opportunity of hosting it two consecutive times.
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The West African country defied the odds to reach the semi-final of the biennial African showpiece. They finished second in Group A ahead of Gabon and Burkina Faso before knocking out Tunisia 2-1 in the quarter-finals after extra time. After that, however, they lost 3-0 to Ghana and finished fourth, their best-ever performance in an international tournament. Not many people barely predicted Equatorial Guinea would reach that far.
Under the management of Juan Micha, the team also qualified for the 2022 edition in Cameroon. But, like many other countries, their dream remains to lift the coveted trophy.
Who is Equatorial Guinea's national football team captain? Who are the players representing them in the 2022 Afcon? In December 2021, head coach Juan Micha announced a 28-man squad to lead the country in Cameroon. Have a look at the list of players picked by Micha.
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- Aitor Embela (Somozas, Spain)
- Jesus Owono (Deportivo Alaves, Spain)
- Manuel Sapunga (Futuro Kings)
- Mariano Magno (Deportivo Unidad)
- Cosme Anvene (Deportivo Unidad)
- Basilio Ndong (Start, Norway)
- Luis Nsue (Futuro Kings)
- Saul Coco (Las Palmas, Spain)
- Carlos Akapo (Cadiz, Spain)
- Marvin Anieboh (Cacereno, Spain)
- Miguel Angel Maye (Futuro Kings)
- Luis Meseguer (Navalcarnero, Spain)
- Esteban Obiang (Antequera, Spain)
- Javier Akapo (Ibiza Islas Pitiusas, Spain)
- Jannick Buyla (Gimnastic Tarragona, Spain)
- Ruben Belima, (Hercules)
- Santiago Eneme (Nantes, France)
- Pablo Ganet (Real Murcia, Spain)
- Alex Balboa (Deportivo Alaves, Spain)
- Federico Bikoro (Hercules)
- Jose Machin (Monza, Italy)
- Josete Miranda (Niki Volos, Greece)
- Emilio Nsue
- Dorian Hanza (Langreo, Spain)
- Luis Nlavo (Sporting Braga, Portugal)
- Iban Salvador (Fuenlabrada, Spain)
- Pedro Oba (Futuro Kings)
- Oscar Siafa (Olympiakos Volos, Greece)
Who is the country's top scorer?
Skipper Emilio Nsue leads the chart as his nation's best scorer in history. He has netted 13 goals since his debut with the team. Born on 30 September 1989 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Nsue chose the African country over his native Spain.
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The former APOEL Nicosia player also represented Spain at all underage levels. He has also played for Mallorca, Middlesbrough, and Birmingham City.
Equatorial Guinea national football team world rankings
According to the latest FIFA standings, the Equatorial Guinea national football team ranking is 114th in the world and 28th in Africa. Their highest-ever FIFA ranking is 49, which they achieved on 12 February 2015, while their lowest is 195 on 23 December 1998.
Playing in a World Cup is a dream of any Equitorial Guinea national football team player and fan. However, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. Perhaps the tiny country is some steps away from reaching its goal. AFCON awaits!
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