…as Troost-Ekong wins player of the tournament award

President Bola Tinubu in a message Sunday night, praised Nigeria’s senior national football team, the Super Eagles for showing great resilience despite their loss to host nation Côte d’Ivoire on the night.

Tinubu said the Eagles demonstrated resilience and talent at the tournament.

The message came in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.

The Elephants of Ivory Coast emerged victorious in the 2023 CAF African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final after coming from behind to beat the Super Eagles 2-1.

Tinubu said Nigeria has won a great victory in the heart of Africa and the world at large.

The message read, “President Bola Tinubu salutes the Super Eagles of Nigeria for their tenacious performance in the final of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire.

“President Tinubu commends the team, the coach, the crew, and the entire management team for their hard work, assiduity, and sacrifice to come this far in the tournament, acknowledging the hurdles they consistently surpassed with steadily improving performance as they pulled through to the finals.”

“The President urges Nigerians to be of good cheer, emphasising that we won a great victory in the hearts of Africa and the world by our grit, rigour, and determination in the field of play.”

The president, however, urged Nigerians not to be demoralised, saying, “Let this passi

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ng event not dispirit us, but bring us together to work harder. We are a great nation bound as one by the green-white-green banner of resilience, joy, hope, duty, and untiring love.

“To those cherished Nigerian youths expressing their gifts in communities, drawing lines in the sand as they play football in their humble rectangles of play, you can be our heroes tomorrow, do not relent in your pursuit. My administration is here to make dreams come true.”

Meanwhile, Super Eagles captain William Troost-Ekong has been crowned the best player of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after his team emerged runners up, narrowly losing to a determined and hard fighting host nationCôte d’Ivoire, Sunday night.

Troost-Ekong scored three goals in the tournament as he led Nigeria to a second-place finish at the AFCON.

He scored the only goal in the group game against hosts and eventual champions Cote d’Ivoire before repeating the feat in the final.

Ekong also scored Nigeria’s only goal – a penalty – in regulation time in the semi-final against South Africa before scoring in the shootout.

Meanwhile, South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams won the award for the Goalkeeper of the tournament after his heroics to power the Bafana Bafana to a third-placed finish.

Equatorial Guinea’s Emilo Nsue, who right from the group stage nicked 5 goals. got the Golden Boot award.

Cote D’Ivoire coach Emerse Fae won the coach of the tournament after leading his side to AFCON glory.