Super Eagles can win AFCON 2024 following Ola Aina’s advice

Super Eagles defender Ola Aina has reiterated that more work still needs to be done if the current crop of players are to emerge champions and win the nation’s fourth AFCON title in Ivory Coast, the country currently hosting the 34th edition of CAF’s premier football competition.

The Nottingham Forest defender has been one of the most outstanding players in this competition that is gradually approaching its business end.

The talented defender, who joined Forest on a free transfer in the summer, has exhibited the vital ‘C-words’ that define a professional – ‘Class and Consistency’ for Nigeria in Ivory Coast.

Aina has put up solid performances in games against Equatorial Guinea, hosts Ivory Coast, and Guinea-Bissau, where he even played in a different role as a left wing-back, and the Round of 16 ties against rivals Cameroon and has helped the team keep three clean sheets in four games.

Clean sheets will win AFCON 2024 for Super Eagles

Aina expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the last game and mentioned what to expect in the next match.

“It was a good game, and all of us put in our maximum efforts into it, and we are happy that we got the result we needed to advance into the quarter-finals,” the versatile defender said.

“Concerning the next game, we are really looking forward to it and the challenges that come with it as always with the same focus, determination, dedication and focus towards the game.”

When asked about the team and the fact that the defence has been key to the final outcomes of the games, he responded by saying:

“I think every game we have played so far is showing how strong we are as a unit. On the pitch, everyone knows what they need to do. We fight for each other, when one makes a mistake, the other knows he’s got to cover and keeping clean sheets is important for us and important in tournaments.”

Aina also had something to say regarding the Super Eagles' next opponents Angola in the quarter-finals.

“We know that they are a very good side, well structured, and they play good football and didn’t make it to the quarter-finals by luck but on merit, so that means we will be taking the game very seriously as a team,” said the former Torino player.

Super Eagles
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Who is the most skilful Super Eagles player?

With the pool of individual talents in the present squad of the Jose Peseiro-led Nigeria squad that includes the reigning African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen, two-goal hero in the Round of 16 Ademola Lookman, Moses Simon, Alex Iwobi, Terem Moffi, Kelechi Iheanacho, and several others, Aina nominated another player as the most skilful.

Asked if he could ascertain that he was the most talented in the team, Aina responded, “I don’t know. I don’t think so but maybe it’s Samuel Chukwueze. Yeah, I think it’s Samuel.”

The AC Milan winger, who has featured in three of Nigeria’s four games at AFCON 2024, excluding the 2-0 win over Cameroon in the Round of 16, is yet to assert his influence on the team but has contributed in his own way to the success recorded so far.

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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.