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What’s Next for Haller, Adingra, Kessie, Osimhen, and Troost Ekong After Epic AFCON 2023 Final?
- Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria 2-1 in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final
- Players who competed in the final will now return to their respective clubs
- Sebastian Haller, the hero for Ivory Coast, will return to Borussia Dortmund
AFCON 2023 is over.
The tournament came to an epic conclusion on Sunday night, with Ivory Coast beating Nigeria 2-1 in the final.
It's now back to club duty for the players who participated in the championship match and Sports Brief looks at what's next for the stars who saw action in the final.
What's next for Ivory Coast's stars?
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Haller etched his name in history, helping Ivory Coast claim their third AFCON title with his late match-winner against Nigeria.
While he was on international duty for the Elephants at AFCON, his club, Borussia Dortmund, were approached by Premier League side, Fulham, to sign him on loan until the summer.
Dortmund gave the London-based side permission to discuss the transfer with Haller, but the Ivorian rejected the switch, per The Athletic.
He will remain with the German side, with Haller expected to be available for Dortmund's Bundesliga clash with Wolfsburg this weekend.
Ivory Coast's win on Sunday wouldn't be possible without the heroics of Simon Adingra. The Ivorian youngster inspired his side's fightback, assisting both of their goals in the second half, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win.
Adingra was named the Man of the Match after the final. He also took home the Best Young Player of the Tournament award.
He will now return to England to play for Brighton in the Premier League. He is expected to suit up for the Seagulls when they face Sheffield United this coming Sunday.
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Kessie will forever be remembered by Ivory Coast fans for his equaliser in the final against Nigeria. His header in the 62nd minute sent Ivorian fans into a frenzy, giving a huge boost to the home side.
That started the comeback for the Elephants, who went on to win 2-1 thanks to Haller's 81st-minute goal.
Kessie will now return to the Middle East to play for Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League. He is expected to be available for selection when his team faces Al Akhdoud this coming Saturday.
What's next for Nigeria's stars?
Osimhen failed to set the Africa Cup of Nations alight, scoring just one goal in the tournament.
He picked up an abdominal injury just days before the semis clash with South Africa, a possible reason why he failed to find the back of the net in the final two rounds.
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The question now is: will he be available for selection this coming Saturday when Napoli face Genoa in the Serie A given his injury concern?
Napoli need their star striker back as they are currently ninth in the league table with 35 points scored.
Troost-Ekong's AFCON title dreams may have ended in disappointment with Nigeria's loss to Ivory Coast, but he still picked up a major prize.
He was named the tournament's Best Player after scoring three goals in the competition. That's the highest goal tally by a defender in this tournament in the last two decades.
Troost-Ekong gave Nigeria a dream start in the final, scoring the opening goal in the 38th minute. Unfortunately for him and the Super Eagles, they weren't able to hold on to that lead.
It's back to club duty for the defender, with the Nigerian returning to Greece to play for PAOK in the Super League. The midweek meeting with Panathinaikos in the Greek Cup semis may be too soon for Troost-Ekong, though.
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He is expected to be available for PAOK when they face Olympiacos this coming Sunday.
Musa breaks his silence after Nigeria loss
Sports Brief recently reported on Ahmed Musa breaking his silence after Nigeria's loss in the final.
The Super Eagles captain took to social media to air his thoughts after the painful AFCON defeat.
He wrote that he is filled with immense pride for his team and also thanked the Nigerian fans.