AFCON 2023: Super Eagles Icon Calls for Reduced Expectation From Nigerians Amid Growing Injury List

AFCON 2023: Super Eagles Icon Calls for Reduced Expectation From Nigerians Amid Growing Injury List

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
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Super Eagles
South Africa
Sadiq Umar logo
S. Umar
Real Sociedad logoFNigeria logo
Wilfred Ndidi logo
W. Ndidi
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Victor Okoh Boniface logo
V. O. Boniface
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B. Ideye
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  • The Africa Cup of Nations is set to commence on January 13
  • Nigeria’s Super Eagles have been hit with a flurry of injuries
  • A national team icon has called for reduced expectations from the team

The continent’s biggest football showpiece, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), is upon us, and all participating teams are eager to leave a mark on the footballing festival in Ivory Coast.

Among the contenders with aspirations of going the distance, the Super Eagles of Nigeria stand out. The three-time Cup of Nations champions boasts an impressive array of attacking talents that could potentially make this tournament a dream run for them.

AFCON, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Super Eagles, Ideye
Akwaba, the mascot of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations, performs outside the Felix Houphouet-Boigny International Airport to welcome guests ahead of the tournament. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

However, the optimistic atmosphere surrounding the Super Eagles is gradually giving way to significant scepticism as a barrage of injuries continue to plague the Nigerian team.

The setbacks suffered by the West African nation appear endless, from midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, sidelined with a muscular injury, to superstar forward Victor Boniface, nursing a groin injury. Adding to the woes, just days before the tournament kicks off is Real Sociedad star Sadiq Umar, who OwnGoalNigeria reports is out with a meniscus injury.

The relentless string of injuries has understandably sparked concerns among fans and loyal supporters who had high hopes for the Super Eagles' triumphant journey. In light of these challenges, a former Super Eagles forward has wisely called for tempered expectations from Jose Peseiro's squad, urging caution as they embark on their AFCON campaign.

Super Eagles icon calls for reduced expectations

2013 AFCON winner Brown Ideye took to social media to share his thoughts on the injury crisis plaguing the national team.

Emphasising the impact of injuries on the team and the calibre of replacements being summoned, Ideye conveyed his perspective:

“Some of these players they’re calling to join the camp don’t have anything to offer the team. They are there to replace an injured player, so the mindset is not the same as a player on the 25-man list they submitted to CAF, so don’t expect miracles from them.”

The 35-year-old had previously voiced concerns about the Super Eagles' lack of preparation to secure victory in the competition.

Despite the criticism, Peseiro's squad is eager to silence doubters as they step onto the field for their first AFCON match against Equatorial Guinea.

Super Eagles lead most valuable AFCON squad

Sports Brief in a previous report stated that Nigeria’s Super Eagles has the most valuable squad at the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Victor Osimhen’s massive market value of €110 million appears to be a huge reason for this. The Nigerian forward market value is more than that of 14 other African countries.

The three-time champions have a squad valued at €465.9mil, over a hundred million more than the Atlas Lions of Morocco, who are in second place and valued at €350.8mil.

Ero Samson photo
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).