Nigerian football icon, Nwankwo Kanu, has declared his belief that the Super Eagles will emerge victorious in the 2023 CAF African Cup of Nations.
Kanu, twice honored as the African Footballer of the Year in 1996 and 1999, made these remarks in a video shared on his X account today.
In the video, he firmly asserted that the Nigerian football squad, set to compete in the semi-final against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana today, will progress to the final and emerge victorious in the tournament.
The renowned Arsenal player, affectionately known as ‘Papilo,’ stated, “I’ve been saying it since the beginning, from the first match – have faith, believe.”
“The boys have done us proud. Semifinals, here we come. I told you we are going to be in the finals and we are going to win this tournament. Pray for them, support them, and wish them the best of luck.”
The nation’s football legend urged Coach Jose Peseiro’s charges to bring back home the trophy which was last won in 2019.
“This is our cup. It’s coming back home. Come on Super Eagles! Come on, You can do this! It is remaining only two games, history to be made,” he said.
The semi-final match scheduled for Wednesday will take place at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake.
This encounter marks the fourth meeting between Nigeria and South Africa in tournament history, with the Eagles emerging victorious in all three previous encounters.
Kick-off time is set for 6 p.m. Nigerian time.
Nigeria secured a 2-0 victory over Cameroon in the round of 16 stage.
Subsequently, they clinched a lone-goal victory against Angola in the quarterfinals before progressing to the semi-finals.
On the other hand, the Bafana Bafana team triumphed with a 2-0 win against last year’s World Cup semi-finalist, Morocco, in the round of 16, followed by a 2-1 victory in a penalty shootout against Cape Verde.
South African defender, Neil Tovey, who captained the 1996 title-winning team, told AFP in a telephone interview from the South African port city of Durban that the match against Nigeria will be tough.
He said, “It is going to be very tough against Nigeria – a final before the final.”