AFCON 2024: Is this the best Super Eagles squad? Nigeria’s captain thinks so…

Super Eagles of Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong has described the present crop of the Super Eagles as the best team he might have played in since he was asked to be a part of the squad some eight years under the tutelage of the late Stephen Keshi.

Troost-Ekong led his Super Eagles' side to beat Ivory Coast in their second group game, boosting their chances of advancing to the next round of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) in Ivory Coast.

Ahead of their final group game against the group’s bottom team, Guinea-Bissau, in which a likely win would seal a place in the Round of 16, the 30-year-old affirmed his belief in the team.

“It is so early still, but my belief in the team has stayed the same,” said the PAOK centre-back who won his first cap for Nigeria in 2015.

Photo by Icon Sport

The former Watford, Groningen and Udinese defender said didn't hold back his words when asked to talk about his time so far in the national team.

“If I look at the players we have now, I think it might be the best team I have played in for Nigeria. That is with all due respect to some of the legends that have been there,” he said.

He went on to describe the team’s forward line as the “most exciting attack in Africa” that would definitely light up the competition and also praised the defenders in the team.

“I was not surprised, I know what the defenders can do as well and I believe so much in this group, I think we have maybe been underrated a little bit defensively,” he concluded.

Super Eagles AFCON 2024
Photo by Icon Sport

Super Eagles captain wearing customised boots

The player, born to a Nigerian father and a Dutch mother and eligible to play for the Oranje team, which he dreamt of being a part of as a youth, is wearing some creatively special boots at the tournament.

The boots were customised by Sokito boots.

The boots are made from corn waste, sugarcane, bamboo and other eco-friendly materials, and they feature a unique design inspired by the country’s landscape and the green colour of the team’s jersey, making him the first footballer to wear sustainably-made football boots in an international sporting event.

Troost-Ekong eyes trophies with club and Super Eagles

Troost-Ekong, who has family ties in Nigeria but grew up in the Netherlands and England, is looking forward to some good times in Greece with PAOK Thessaloniki by winning some medals with the club and the national team.

“I am really enjoying it and I am hopeful I can add some silverware to my career, here as well as back home,” he noted.

Since making his debut in Egypt back in 2019 at the AFCON, Troost-Ekong, now playing in his third Africa Cup of Nations, has scored three goals so far, including the penalty kick he scored against the Elephants of Ivory Coast in the second group-stage match.

He will be hoping to lead the team to another group stage win on 22 January against Guinea-Bissau. He will be hopeful of getting favourable opposition in the knockout stages of the competition.

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.