AFCON 2023: ‘Nigerians must believe in Super Eagles, we won’t let them down – Musa

Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa has called on the Nigerian football faithful to rally behind the team as they seek to restore the West African nation to international glory.

The three- time champions have been pitched against host nation Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau in Group A.

Ahead of the of Super Eagles’ AFCON 2023 opener with Equatorial Guinea on Sunday January 14, Musa was optimistic the Super Eagles would put up a good showing in Ivory Coast and prayed their fans would rally behind the team.

AFCON 2023 could be Musa’s last AFCON

Since making his debut for Nigeria on August 5, 2010, in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Madagascar, Musa has gone ahead to win over a century of caps.

As the player with the most appearances for the Super Eagles, Musa is 41 appearances clear of the player most likely to match or surpass his mark, making it unlikely that he would be overtaken anytime soon.

This seniority is certainly reflected in the fact that he currently wears the captain's armband for the Super Eagles.

 Having previously participated in different AFCON tournaments, AFCON 2023 could be Musa’s last spell with the Super Eagles on the coninental stage, considering the noise that met his inclusion into Jose Peseiro’s final AFCON squad.

Musa keen to win AFCON 2023

The Super Eagles captain secured his first AFCON victory when the late Stephen Keshi led Nigeria to win the trophy in Burkina Faso.

Prior to Sunday's match, Musa spoke of his desire to make his final participation in the continental tournament culminate in a similar triumphant fashion.

“What is important is to try to give my best and try to win it for my country. The players are fully aware of my plans, and we have a squad good enough to win it again,” he said.

“I would like for the story of my Nations Cup to end very well like the first by winning it.”

Super Eagles AFCON 2023
Photo by Icon sport

What Peseiro said about Musa

When queried by the media about why he seemingly couldn't do without an obviously underwhelming Musa, Peseiro had the following to say:

“When building a team, you consider all situations and actions,” the Portuguese explained.

“I believe Musa can play for us, and we need his core experience, leadership, and command. His presence in the squad will create team spirit, organisation, and a sense of unity.”

The Super Eagles are on a mission to win their fourth AFCON title having win it in 1980, 1994 and and 2013.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with and He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.