Nigeria Is Not One Of The Favorites To Win The AFCON 2021 Tournament, According To Super Eagles Defender William Troost-Ekong


    Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong has stated unequivocally that his team is not among the favorites to win the Africa Cup of Nations.

    Why I tattooed Fela's face on my arm – Troost-Ekong - Punch Newspapers
    William Troost-Ekong celebrates for Super Eagles

    The 28-year-old defender also explains why Africa’s competition is on par with the World Cup, Euros, and Copa America.

    The 28-year-old defender, who plays for Watford in the Premier League, also speaks about the mood in the camp in Cameroon.

    “Everyone is willing to go the extra mile, which I think is amazing,” Troost-Ekong told Football Focus as quoted by BBC Sport Africa. “We recognize the challenges that lie ahead of us, but we all try to support one another.”

    “And when it’s time to crack a joke, we know when to do that as well. The team has a sense of brotherhood. Every day is an adventure. It’s as if they’re all part of one big family.

    “It’s not just about us; it’s about Nigeria as a whole.” We know there are 200 million people at home that will want us to give our heart and soul when we play. When we play, everything in Nigeria comes to a halt for 90 minutes. And everyone is watching the game.

    “It’s good pressure and we use that to motivate us. There comes a point when you’re walking out and realize the significance of being able to wear the shirt. That’s something truly unique.

    “We’re not one of the favorites, which I think is a good place for us to be.”

    On the disrespect being shown to the African competition, Troost-Ekong said: “If it was the Euros or any other tournament, I don’t think there would be any kind of conversation like this. That would be absurd.

    “I can understand it to an extent because we are leaving during the season, which is probably different to other major tournaments that are happening. But everyone had known for a long time that it would be in January.

    “Unfortunately, I think quite a lot has been taken away from the tournament and the excitement that should have been there because of those questions.”

    Troost-Ekong went on to say that Afcon was on par with the World Cup, Euros, and Copa America, and he urged the world’s media to give the tournament the attention it deserves.

    “Sometimes there’s a misunderstanding about what kind of tournament it is,” Troost-Ekong continued.

    “It’s on par with a World Cup, the Euros, or the Copa America.” Many of the Premier League’s most exciting players are African. Whatever people say, seeing them all together defending their countries will be an exciting tournament.”

    Nigeria has been drawn in Group D of the competition, alongside Egypt, Sudan, and Guinea-Bissau, and Troost-Ekong commented on the prospect of facing Liverpool forward Salah: “I hope he stays as far away from us and our goal as possible.”

    “He’s obviously been on fire this season, and we all know how good he is, but I’m also very confident in our team.”

    On Tuesday, the Super Eagles will kick off their campaign against the Pharaohs. Nigeria’s quest to become African champions begins when they face The Pharaohs.

    The Super Eagles, who finished third in the 2019 edition, are making their 19th appearance in the finals and would like to win their fourth title.

    The Pharaohs’ previous outing was a disaster, as they failed to advance past the Round of 16 against South Africa.

    With stars like Mohamed Salah, Mohamed El Neny, and Mostafa Mohamed on their side, the North Africans would like to rule Africa for the eighth time in a row.

    To do so, Carlos Queiroz’s men must overcome the Super Eagles, Guinea-Bissau, and Sudan in Group D.

    More importantly, they will be aiming for all three points against Augustine Eguavoen’s side in order to start the season on a high note.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here