Nigeria coach Peseiro optimistic ahead of first AFCON final against Cote d'Ivoire

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 10 Feb 2024

Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro is brimming with optimism as he prepares for his first Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final against Cote d'Ivoire on Sunday.

Jose Peseiro
Nigeria s Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro gives a press conference at the palais de la Culture in Abidjan on February 10, 2024 on the eve of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) final football match between Ivory Coast and Nigeria. AFP


Speaking at the pre-game press conference on Saturday, Peseiro emphasized the significance of playing in a final and expressed his eagerness to secure the AFCON title.

"This is my first AFCON, and it holds great importance," he stated.

Acknowledging the unique emotions that come with African football, Peseiro commented: "I have experienced something truly special. The emotions in Africa are unparalleled."

The coach further emphasized the learning opportunities that this experience has provided him.

"In my opinion, this journey has been a great learning experience, and tomorrow, I would love to win it with the Nigerian team," he shared.

Nigeria's path to the final included a thrilling victory over South Africa in the semifinals, secured through a penalty shootout.

Reflecting on the tournament, Peseiro highlighted the lessons he has gained.

"I have learned tremendously during my time here. Winning brings joy, but losing can be challenging. Finding a balance is crucial," he explained.

Praising his talented squad, the Portuguese coach expressed confidence in their determination to bring the AFCON title home.

"We have a fantastic group of players who are eager to win this for Nigeria. While some are newcomers to the squad, they have valuable experience from other competitions. Football evokes emotions like no other sport, and this holds immense importance for Nigeria," he added.

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