Nigerian goalkeeper Maduka Okoye
Friday Dec 24, 2021. 10:00
Watford-bound goalkeeper Maduka Okoye has declared that Nigeria are heading to Cameroon intent on winning their fourth Africa Cup of Nations title.
The biennial tournament kicks off on January 26 with the Super Eagles set to contest Group D alongside Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.
There is uncertainty over the position of head coach after the Nigeria Football Federation sacked Gernot Rohr on December 12 and placed Augustine Eguavoen in charge of the national team on an interim basis.
Eguavoen was expected to oversee matters in Cameroon but NFF president Amaju Pinnick cast doubt on his role this week by claiming they are in advanced talks over appointing a new technical adviser.
Regardless of who leads his country at AFCON, Okoye is convinced the Nigerians have what it takes to triumph on Africa’s biggest stage next year.
“We are going to the Africa Cup to win the tournament,” the 22-year-old told Rijnmond. “Nigeria is a great football country, and we have a good team. Let me return to Rotterdam with a prize.”
Okoye will join the Hornets in the New Year after agreeing a five-and-a-half-year deal with the Premier League club, but he’ll be returning to Sparta Rotterdam on loan for the remainder of the season.
The Bayer Leverkusen youth product admits he is realising a dream in playing for Nigeria and is looking forward to his first major competition.
“As a small child, I always looked at that and cheered the Super Eagles,” Okoye added. “It is a dream come true, so I really hope it continues. It will be one or two days of Christmas and then via Nigeria to Cameroon.”