The historical past books might be rewritten when the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations ends right this moment, Sunday, February 11, 2024, Soccernet.ng experiences.
Nigeria, aiming for a fourth continental title, face two-time winners and event hosts Cote d’Ivoire on the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan.
A win for Nigeria’s Tremendous Eagles will make head coach Jose Peseiro the primary Portuguese tactician to win the AFCON trophy in its 67-year existence.
A number of European and South American coaches have succeeded within the continent’s greatest soccer competition, however by no means has a Portuguese managed to raise the AFCON Cup.
French coaches have received the trophy 5 instances, Yugoslavians claimed it thrice, Hungarian tacticians twice, and as soon as every for Dutch, Brazilian, Romanian, Welsh, and Belgian coaches.
After an eventful teaching profession, which incorporates profitable the Taça da Liga with Braga in 2013 and shedding the UEFA Cup ultimate with Sporting Lisbon in 2005, Peseiro can lay his arms on the most important prize in African soccer right this moment.
“Clearly, it will likely be good for everybody to win this competitors,” Peseiro stated.
“Firstly, for Nigeria, which is able to obtain its goal. Then, for me and my technical staff.
“I’ve had superb issues in my profession. I used to be on the verge of profitable a UEFA Cup, and I received different issues, however this trophy is essential, and I hope it involves fruition.
“We now have to be very sturdy to face an excellent staff.”
Since being appointed Tremendous Eagles head coach, Peseiro has battled harsh criticisms and unpaid salaries.
Some even known as for his sack after Nigeria drew their first two World Cup qualifiers in November.
A board member of the Nigeria Soccer Federation even admitted that the physique would have thought-about dismissing Peseiro if they’d the cash to pay a brand new coach.
Peseiro has thrived regardless of these harsh situations as a result of he believed in his gamers and his conviction that he had the assets to make Nigeria the champions of Africa once more.
The previous Braga boss added: “Since we arrived within the nation, we set an goal that was extra sporting than monetary, and we thought it might be good to deal with this venture, as we’d have the situations and gamers.
“The situations usually are not what we want, however it isn’t simply the Nigeria staff that’s going by nice difficulties.
“No less than I had a bunch of prime gamers and I believed we may kind a fantastic staff and win the AFCON. From the start, it was the principle goal.”
Three Portuguese coaches arrived in Cote d’Ivoire for the thirty fourth version of the continental championships.
Peseiro was joined by compatriots Pedro Gonçalves, who was answerable for Angola, and Rui Vitória, who dealt with Egypt.
Egypt have been eradicated within the Spherical of 16 by DR Congo, whereas Angola reached the quarterfinals, the place they fell to Peseiro and Nigeria.
Solely Peseiro is left standing on the AFCON, and he’s not unaware of the problem of profitable the event.
“This competitors is sort of powerful and has specificities that others don’t have,” Peseiro famous.
“There’s fuss, political, social and financial burden and a fantastic weight on all these concerned due to what every choice represents.
“There’s numerous stress and a fantastic must win, particularly because of the difficulties that many individuals undergo in these international locations.”
Nigeria are unbeaten in six video games at AFCON 2023, and, with victory over Cote d’Ivoire, the Tremendous Eagles may add to the three different trophies received in 1980,1994, and 2013.