Algeria and Morocco were nominated to win the African Cup of Nations

February 14, 2024
Algeria and Morocco were nominated to win the African Cup of Nations

FRANCE 24 envoy to Ivory Coast – Former Ivorian international player Emmanuel Eboue revealed in an exclusive interview with France 24 in Abidjan that he nominated Algeria and Morocco to win the African Cup of Nations held in his country. The Arsenal defender between 2004 and 2011, who suffered bankruptcy and isolation as a result of the divorce from his first wife, spoke about the upcoming final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast on Sunday evening, stressing that the “Elephants” are seeking revenge on the “Eagles” after losing in the group stage 0-1.

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7 minutes

FRANCE 24 met Emmanuel Eboue, the former Ivorian international player, in Abidjan, the day after his country qualified for the final. African Cup of Nations Football He will face Nigeria next Sunday at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in the suburb of Epembe.

There was talk about the continental championship activities it is hosting dullness For the second time after 1984, and about the early exit of teams Algeria And Tunisia And Egypt And Morocco. The conversation also touched on the anticipated fiery final between the “Elephants.” And “Excellent Eagles”, The former defender of the English club Arsenal (2004-2011) and the Turkish club Galatasaray (2011-2015) sees the fabulous journey of those he calls “my little brothers” and the “phenomenon” of Victor Osimhen, the Nigerian striker.

Today's matches and results for the African Cup of Nations

Before publishing the text of the interview, it must be noted that Emmanuel Eboue (40 years old) suffered from bankruptcy and isolation over the years as a result of his divorce from his first wife (who is Belgian) when he was a player at Arsenal (from 2004 to 2011). He revealed in several press interviews, both in his country and abroad, that his ex-wife deprived him of seeing their three children and, by decision of the British judiciary, obtained all their material possessions (houses, luxury cars…).

However, we decided to focus in this interview on the sporting side of his life, especially the African Cup of Nations, which he played several times and played in the final in 2006 against Egypt (the latter won on penalties). In 2006, he also played the Champions League final against Barcelona (the latter won 2-1).

Read alsoNigeria-Ivory Coast, title of the 2024 African Cup of Nations final

His sporting career ended dramatically in 2016 when his English club, Sunderland, decided to terminate the contract binding the two parties against the backdrop of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) suspending the former Ivorian player due to legal violations related to his agent.

After years of misery and hardship, Eboué returned to Abidjan, where he was born, and began playing football at the Jean-Marc Guillot Academy. Since his return, he has established a youth training center called “Emmanuel Eboue Football Club.” He lives a “normal” life, free from painful memories of the past. He is also a member of the organizing committee of the 2024 African Cup of Nations.

Below are highlights of the interview.

Ivory Coast's journey in the tournament

“We thought we were out of the race…”

After losing to Equatorial Guinea (0-4), I felt despair and fear of early exit, like many Ivorians. No one here was reassured. We all thought we were out of the race, until a miracle happened. The Ivory Coast team had fallen and collapsed, but it rose again and headed in the right direction.

True, the disappointment was indescribable among the fans and among the Ivorian people in general. In the end, and given how things turned out, I think that the departure of coach Jean-Louis Gasset (who resigned the day after the loss to Equatorial Guinea in the group stage) did not change anything, because Immers Faye (who succeeded him in the position) was his assistant.

The players themselves spoke among themselves and pledged to go the farthest. They met and agreed to work hard together to go far, realizing that the heavy defeat against Equatorial Guinea was the main reason for the pain of the Ivorian people. Whether Gasset was present or not did not change anything.

Revenge of Nigeria

“Best final ever”

Nigeria is a different team than what we have seen in recent years, and it has become difficult to beat them. He has the best defense in this tournament. I remember well that the problem with this team was the defensive side, but today we noticed that it is the best defensively (it has conceded two goals since the start of the tournament). But my brother Emers Fayé (coach of Ivory Coast) has a preconceived idea about this opponent and he knows how to prepare the team and how to talk to the players so that we can face Nigeria with strong will.

It will be a revenge match for us after our loss to them in the second round of the group stage (0-1). Nigeria is a strong team, giving everything they have. He also has Osimhen.

Osimhen is the pride of African football

This tough player works hard. He is a fighting player on the field… and I think this final will be the best in the history of the continental tournament. Ivory Coast wants revenge for the group stage defeat, and Nigeria wants to win the title for the first time since 2013.

Osimhen reminds me of Didier Drogba (former Ivory Coast star) because Drogba had the same style. He was giving everything he had, worrying the defense a lot, and Osimhen was doing that too. As a former defender, I can assure you that it is difficult to play against strikers like Osimhen because when he receives the ball you do not know what he will do with it. When the defenders have the ball, you find him pressuring them. I congratulate Osimhen because he is the pride of African football.

Sebastien Haller returns after suffering from cancer

“He returned to life, just as Ivory Coast returned to the competition.”

Haller returned from afar, just as the Ivory Coast national team returned (in July 2022, Haller moved from Ajax Amsterdam to Dortmund, but he contracted cancer when a tumor was discovered in the testicle, after which he underwent several surgeries and underwent chemotherapy. He resisted until he was cured, so he was part of the Ivory Coast squad. For the 2024 African Cup of Nations and was the winner over the Democratic Republic of Congo in the semi-final).

Haller was not 100% ready, but he gave his best… resisted the strong defenders of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ivory Coast is proud of this team and also of Sebastien Haller, who is going through a difficult period with his German club (Borussia Dortmund). We are happy when we see him smiling on the field.

Brother Emers Faye

“I believe in his ability to win.”

Faye is like a brother to me. We played together in the Ivorian national team, so I know him well. He is a very strict person. When he became responsible for this team, I was sure that he would do everything in his power to enable this team to overcome the difficulties. We are proud of him. Everything positive works. Making the decision to replace players of the caliber of Franck Kesé and Sekou Fofana is an example of the courage he shows.

Text: Allawa Meziani – Al-FayedYAnd: Othman Taibi Delegated France 24 to Ivory Coast

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