AFCON 2023: Troost Ekong Discloses Secret to Nigeria’s Super Eagles Triumph in Ivory Coast

AFCON 2023: Troost Ekong Discloses Secret to Nigeria’s Super Eagles Triumph in Ivory Coast

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
Cameroon logo
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
Bright Osayi-Samuel logo
B. Osayi-Samuel
-MNigeria logo
  • The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations climaxes with the final at the Stade Alassane Ouatarra
  • Nigeria’s Super Eagles lock horns with tournament host, Ivory Coast’s Les Elephant
  • William Troost-Ekong has disclosed the reason behind Nigeria’s success at the AFCON

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has undeniably exceeded all expectations and the lofty heights many had of the footballing showpiece.

The tournament hosted by Ivory Coast, have ceaselessly treated fans to an endless flurry of nail-biting fixtures, and at the hearts of these thrilling games are the resurgent Super Eagles of Nigeria.

AFCON, Nigeria, Super Eagles, William Troost-Ekong, South Africa, Ivory Coast
Super Eagles defender, William Troost Ekong, celebrates after scoring for Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations match against South Africa. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

The three-time Cup of Nations champions entered this tournament following a lacklustre run of matches. Jose Peseiro’s team struggled against opponents like Lesotho and Guinea’s Sylli Nacional, as well as in their opening clash against Equatorial Guinea’s Nzalang Nacional.

However, following their disappointing start to the tournament, the Nigerian team appears to have turned things around, recording impressive victories, notably against hosts Ivory Coast and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions.

Nonetheless, with the final of the showpiece on the horizon, vice-captain of the team, William Troost-Ekong, has disclosed the secret to the impressive run of results recorded by the Super Eagles.

Troost-Ekong on the Super Eagles

In a conversation with media outlet Hot Sports Nigeria, the 30-year-old delved into the pivotal factor behind the recent surge in the form of the Super Eagles.

"I think all of us are now playing in respectable teams in respect of the leagues, one or two in better teams than others, but everyone is young and wants to prove something, and that's what probably makes us a good team.
"We are all in this together, and as soon as we arrived at the camp, I don't think anyone thought about what club they played for. It's a real brotherhood going on. That's making us play well."

The Paok Thessaloniki centre-back also insisted that there are no superstars in the current Super Eagles squad compared to previous Nigeria teams that had players on the books of elite European clubs.

"We don't have any superstars in our team. Before, there were generations in Nigeria that had a lot of players playing in big teams.
"However much that's helped the team, it might have also been a bit difficult because you have different agendas maybe, and you have to take into account many different players and mentalities."

Troost-Ekong, who has captained the team in every game of the tournament so far, is expected to lead Nigeria in their upcoming encounter against Ivory Coast, a team they previously defeated in the tournament's group stages.

What Nigeria must do vs Ivory Coast

Sports Brief in another report stated that Super Eagles defender, Bright-Osayi Samuel, has identified what Nigeria must do to seal victory against Ivory Coast.

Nigeria takes on the AFCON host in the finale of the showpiece on February 11.

The Fenerbahce star hinted at the Super Eagles being more clinical in front of goal to secure their first AFCON title in 11 years.

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).