AFCON 2023: Super Eagles Legend Identifies What Nigeria Needs to Secure Glory in Ivory Coast

AFCON 2023: Super Eagles Legend Identifies What Nigeria Needs to Secure Glory in Ivory Coast

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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Super Eagles
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  • The countdown to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is in full swing
  • A host of countries are vying for the title in Ivory Coast
  • A Nigerian football icon has hinted at what Nigeria needs to win the title

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) continues to dominate the sporting conversation on the continent’s football landscape.

A flurry of stars and legends have occasionally made their thoughts known about the 34th edition of the biannual competition slated for the Ivory Coast.

While some appear positive with regard to their expectations of the nation at the tournament, the same cannot be said for others, and one who appears evidently worried for his country is former Super Eagles defender Efe Sodje.

AFCON, Super Eagles, Nigeria, Efe Sodje, Jose Peseiro
Super Eagles of Nigeria pose for a photo ahead of the AFCON clash against Tunisia. Image: Beloumou Olomo.
Source: Getty Images

The 51-year-old who featured for the Nigerian national team between 2000 and 2004, as reported by Whoscored, has expressed his concerns with regard to the squad selection of manager Jose Peseiro and also highlighted what needs to be done for the Eagles to stand a chance of winning the tournament.

Sodje on Super Eagles AFCON squad

In a chat with media outlet Brila FM, when quizzed about the Nigeria National team squad, Sodje expressed concerns over the team’s imbalance:

"Our AFCON squad is imbalanced. We're carrying too many strikers, and there's a lack of creativity in the midfield. We need players who can pass the ball forward and create opportunities to secure victories."

Expressing his worries over the team’s solidity, he further highlighted:

“We are going with too many side passes players, no disrespect to the players, and we’ve been conceding goals left, right and centre. We should stop that because a solid defence is the benchmark to win a tournament.”

Sodje concluded, stressing the fact that Nigeria will need a solid backline to win the upcoming 2023 AFCON.

Nigeria will kick off their campaign with a fixture at the Stade Alassane Ouattara against Equatorial Guinea.

Ivory Coast FA boss snubs Nigeria

Sports Brief in a previous report stated Ivory Coast Football Federation chief Yacine Diallo has snubbed Nigeria’s Super Eagles whilst naming his favourite teams to win the AFCON.

The 63-year-old, who recently took to the media to discuss a flurry of topics, including his nation's preparation for the tournament, opted against choosing the West African Nation and instead opted for defending champions Senegal, Egypt and Morocco.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).