Super Eagles emerge new favourites for the cup - The Super Eagles of Nigeria, winner of their quarter-final match against Cote d'Ivoire at the ongoing 2013 AFCON in South Africa, have emerged the new favourites for the cup.
A PANA Correspondent, covering the tournament, reports that their new status as the favourites has also added new pressure on them as they are no longer considered the Cinderella team of the tournament.
Their foes from the semi-final stage are now expected to face them with additional strength and determination.
In an apparent show of good sportsmanship, Cote d’Ivoire’s skipper, the iconic Didier Drogba, was in the Nigerian dressing room moments after his side was shoved away from the competition by the less-fancied Super Eagles.
According to the Media Officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya, Drogba is convinced that the Super Eagles will win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
According to him, Drogba stormed the dressing room of the Eagles after Sunday’s match to felicitate with his former club teammates, John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses, whom he said, are being missed badly by Chelsea of England.
“You guys should go and win the cup because you have shown the character of a champion,' Alaiya quoted Drogba as saying in impeccable English as he hugged Stephen Keshi, Mikel and Moses.
Players of the national team have also vowed to ensure that President Goodluck Jonathan is present at the final of the Cup of Nations this weekend by winning the semi-final game against Mali.
Team Skipper Joseph Yobo, said after the win over Cote d'Ivoire, that the players have resolved to fulfill the promise they made to Mr. President when he visited the team in training in Abuja last year.
Yobo said he was also delighted to learn that business mogul, Aliko Dangote, is expected to cheer the national team in the final and urged all others to join in supporting the Eagles ahead of the semi-final clash against Mali.
Earlier, the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, S.S. Yusuf, has reiterated the desire of Mr. President to be physically present in the final of the Nations if the Eagles qualify for the final on Wednesday.
“The President watched you and was excited that you showed true character of the Nigerian and his Private Secretary just called to say you should just fulfill your own part of the bargain and leave the rest to Mr. President.
Ambassador Yusuf also revealed that his Zambian counterpart in South Africa has tipped the Eagles to be African champions and has graciously offered to plan a good hand-over ceremony when Nigeria wins the cup.
“With what we have seen of this team, we are sure you will not disappoint Nigerians on Wednesday and even in the final”, he said.