Sports

Ivory Coast 2023: Former Everton star reveals three ingredients Super Eagles need to win AFCON

The three-time African champions have not been convincing with recent results but are tipped to claim a fourth continental crown

Former Everton defender Joseph Yobo has revealed the factors that could be crucial for Nigeria’s hopes of winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast next year, Soccernet.ng reports. 

Nigeria have some of the most valuable strikers in Africa, with Victor Osimhen, Victor Boniface, Terem Moffi, and Taiwo Awoniyi all impressing in Europe’s top five leagues.

Despite boasting these top talents, the Super Eagles have struggled to produce positive results in recent days.

Tipped as massive favourites to claim victories, Nigeria disappointingly wobbled to poor 1-1 draws against Lesotho and Zimbabwe during their World Cup qualifiers.

Still, the Super Eagles have vowed to aim for the title in Ivory Coast and Yobo, who led Nigeria to its third AFCON title at the 2013 edition in South Africa, believes Nigeria’s talent will be important as they seek to rule Africa again.

The former Super Eagles captain is, however, convinced that talent alone will not be enough and has charged the national team to improve their teamwork and intelligence to stand a chance against the continent’s best.

“You can have talent, talent push you to a certain level, but teamwork and intelligence make you win the championship,” Yobo said during a ceremony to unveil the Eagles ‘Let’s Do It Again’ mantra in their bid to win a fourth AFCON title at next year’s edition in Ivory Coast.

“Basically, talent makes you win the game, but teamwork and intelligence make you win the championship.

“We’re talking about championship here not just about one game. I remember the NFF president has spoke about the game on Thursday, that’s just one game; it’s like a marathon.

“It’s a qualifying round; it’s not a knockout game. So what happened yesterday, like he rightly said, I think it was good for the morale of the players to understand that we can’t make any further mistakes from this point, but it wasn’t a bad game.”

Nigeria won the AFCON in 1980, 1994, and 2013.