Asamoah Gyan, a former Ghana captain, predicts that Nigeria will cruise to victory at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, despite stiff competition.
As the Super Eagles prepared for the 33rd edition of the Afcon, little was expected of them due to a number of factors, including the departure of long-time coach Gernot Rohr just weeks before the competition began and the withdrawal of key players, the most notable of whom was Napoli forward Victor Osimhen.
While winning against Egypt and Sudan with relative ease and scoring four goals while allowing one, the 2013 winners have been one of the more exciting teams to watch in Cameroon so far this season.
In contrast, with the exception of the hosts Cameroon and Morocco, several of the pre-tournament favorites have failed to match their high ratings with their on-field performances.
Senegal have only achieved one win and one goal in their last four games, both coming through Sadio Mane’s late penalty against Zimbabwe. France and Algeria are both in the bottom half of Group E coming into the last round of group stage matches on Sunday.
In addition to Gyan’s Ghana, the Black Stars had only one point from three games, and they are out of the tournament as they fail to produce a victory against the lowly Comoros.
However, the performance of Nigeria in Cameroon has left the 2010 BBC African Footballer of the Year impressed with the team’s overall effort.
Gyan believes that the Super Eagles have demonstrated the qualities necessary to become champions..
“As of today, Nigeria stands out as the team that has the will to conquer all opposition going by what has happened in the matches so far,” Gyan told ESPN.
“Every other potential winner of the tournament seems to be playing with too much caution, and this explains why most of the matches have not been impressive.
“But when you look at Nigeria, they showed the character of a potential champion, considering the way they dominated Egypt all through the 90 minutes.”
Nigeria have won the Nations Cup in 1980, 1994, and 2013.