Nigeria’s outing at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations came to a disappointing end with a loss in the final, although in interpretation, the silver medal means the three time African Champions are the second best team in the tournament, only inferior to hosts and Champions Cote D’Ivoire.
Nevertheless, the team has to build on the success achieved and hit the ground running immediately they converge for duty again.
The Nations Cup returns in 2025 with Morocco hosting the 35th edition, but before then, the qualifiers for the World Cup will return and the team must return with an instant impact.
The three time African Champions did not qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, losing its slot to the Black Stars of Ghana in a two legged play offs.
This time around, it will be even a bigger blow if the Super Eagles fail to qualify for the next edition of the mundial, so it’s pertinent for the Nigeria Football Federation, the players and other stakeholders to put every foot right to ensure the team doesn’t miss out again.
Morocco’s Atlas Lions who got to the semi final of the World Cup the last time out exited the Africa Cup of Nations untimely, this is an attestation that different tournament comes with different approach and mindset.
Second place finish at the AFCON isn’t too bad, but Nigeria must build on this and return to the biggest football competition in the World.