Afcon 2023: Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong dreams of lifting trophy


Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong says lifting the Africa Cup of Nations trophy would be an “amazing” moment for him and the country.

The Super Eagles beat South Africa on penalties to reach Sunday’s final in Abidjan, where they will face tournament hosts Ivory Coast.

Nigeria have reached their first final since 2013, when the West Africans won their third continental title.

“You dream about moments like that,” centre-back Troost-Ekong told BBC Sport Africa.

“I’ve seen it so many times. And I’ve closed my eyes. To actually be there on Sunday and have the chance to do that will be amazing.”

Nigeria were not among the leading contenders for the trophy before the finals, given their lacklustre showing in their opening two qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup and their position as the sixth-best team in Africa according to Fifa’s world rankings.

However, the Super Eagles have been the top-ranked side at the tournament since the end of the last 16, where holders Senegal, Morocco and record seven-time champions Egypt all exited.

Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro says he has always had faith in his side, who were the top scorers in qualifying for the finals with 22 goals.

“When I signed the contract, I said I want to win the Afcon,” the Portuguese told BBC Sport Africa.

“Either way, I don’t know if everybody believed or not. I have believed since the first moment.

“We haven’t won nothing until now – we want to win the Afcon.”

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