AFCON 2023: Former Real Madrid Midfielder Warns Nigeria’s Super Eagles About Angola

AFCON 2023: Former Real Madrid Midfielder Warns Nigeria’s Super Eagles About Angola

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
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CAF AFCON
Africa
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Nigeria
Nigeria
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Angola
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  • The quarter-final round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is on the horizon
  • Nigeria’s Super Eagles will square off against the Palancas Negras of Angola
  • An ex-Real Madrid midfielder has warned Nigeria to be wary of their opponent

The quarter-final round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicks off with a cracker as the Super Eagles of Nigeria go head-to-head with their perennial rivals, Angola, in a much-anticipated clash.

These two teams, steeped in a historical rivalry spanning over five decades, are poised to write another chapter in their intense history at the illustrious Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan.

As anticipation builds for this winner-takes-all clash, discussion and speculation abound among fans and players alike, adding to the electrifying atmosphere surrounding the AFCON tie.

AFCON, Nigeria, Angola, Super Eagles, CAF
Angola's players pose ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations match against Burkina Faso. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

Adding to the pre-match buzz, a former Real Madrid midfielder has conveyed a message to the Nigerian team, emphasising the need for them to approach the game with awareness of the threat posed by the Palancas Negras.

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Ex-Madrid midfielder on Nigeria’s clash

In an interview with Arabic media outlet, Btolat, former Los Blancos star, Mutiu Adepoju confidently predicted that Pedro Goncalves' team would be in peak form when the match kicks off.

Highlighting the challenging nature of the upcoming match, the Nigerian legend stated:

"It will be a difficult contest. [Angola] showcased impressive performances in the group stage, and therefore, Nigeria must exercise caution."

The 53-year-old, who clinched victory in the 1994 edition of AFCON, further expressed his belief that the Super Eagles are the frontrunners to secure the Cup of Nations, particularly with the elimination of North African countries and defending champions, Senegal.

However, he stressed that Nigeria needed to substantiate their claim until the conclusion of the tournament:

"There must be a collective commitment from all players. They must give their all and not rest on their laurels because winning the championship is no easy feat."

Adepoju's words serve as a wake-up call for the Super Eagles, especially considering the formidable and unpredictable nature of the Angolan national team.

It is essential to underscore that the Central African nation has earned a reputation in recent years for causing upsets against teams ranked significantly higher than them.

Nigeria vs Angola preview and prediction

In a previous report, the AFCON quarter-final between Nigeria and Angola was previewed and the outcome was also predicted by Sports Brief.

The Super Eagles are eager to secure their first competitive victory against the Palancas Negras since a narrow 1-0 triumph dating to 1989.

Conversely, Angola would have set their sights on a place in the AFCON semi-finals, aiming for their best-ever outing at the tournament.

Authors
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).