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AFCON 2023: Drogba wary of Eagles

Didier Drogba, a former Ivory Coast striker, is concerned about the threat the Super Eagles would offer to the Elephants’ chances in Group A when the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations gets off in January 2024.

The Elephants are aiming for their third AFCON crown after winning in 1992 and 2015, while Nigeria, led by reigning African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen, is aiming for their fourth.

Hosts Ivory Coast are drawn in Group A against three-time winners Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.

“There’s no such thing as a generous draw because all the teams deserve to be here and they’re going to fight,” Drogba, who scored 65 goals for the Elephants.

“Nigeria, with Victor Osimhen and all the players they have, is a big team. We mustn’t forget the other two teams because there are always surprises.

Drogba, who featured at five AFCON tournament editions and led the Ivoirians to the final in 2012 when they lost 8-7 on penalties to Zambia after extra time ended goalless, expects a very difficult group for the hosts.

“I think that our main asset will be to focus on our game, our team, our strengths and try to progress. It’s up to us to make the most of it, get behind our team and make sure the trophy stays at home.”

The Eagles last won the AFCON 10 years ago in South Africa and they defeated Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals on the way to that triumph in 2013.

Meanwhile, Eagles’ coach, Jose Peseiro, remains upbeat about the chances of his side, ahead of the forthcoming 2023 AFCON.

The Portuguese coach said, “We want to win the AFCON, so it’s not important to choose or want to avoid any opponent.

“The best moments are all those I was and I’m with my players, working to improve our organisation and our team spirit.”

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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