Former Super Eagles of Nigeria goalkeeper and Olympic gold medallist Dosu Joseph has said that it is important Nigeria prepare well for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 tournament if they want to be crowned champions.
Dosu was speaking exclusively to Concise News after last Saturday’s Testimonial match in honour of the outgoing governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode. The match between the Africa XI and Naija Legends ended all square (4-4) at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
The 2019 AFCON kicks off in the North African country of Egypt on the 21st of June, with three-time champions Nigeria back for the first time since winning the tournament in 2013. And Dosu, 45 has his say…
AFCON 2019 favourite
“If you ask me of my favourite (for the AFCON title), I’d pick my country Nigeria. But then, football is not being played on pages of newspaper or radio or TV. It has to be on the playing field for 90 minutes or one hundred and ten minutes [sic]. But for sure, if we prepare very well, we will get there. But if we don’t prepare, we’ll get the other side. The important thing is preparation because every country that qualify for that championship are potential winners of that trophy. So if we prepare very well, it will be an advantage for us.”
On Gernot Rohr’s squad to the Nations Cup
“I think he is the coach. We should allow him to do the team selection. He has done it. Nothing we say that will change it. The important thing is to wish those boys the very best of luck.”
On Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane sharing the English Premier League (EPL) golden boot
“That shows African football is improving. We are producing players that are winning golden boot(s) everywhere. So, all we need to do is keep on pushing and winning trophies either home or abroad. I think those three guys have done so well. They’ve written Africa’s name in gold and they will continue to shine, likewise others coming from behind.”
Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Abuja, Lagos, where should the Super Eagles make their home?
“Well, they’ve been playing everywhere in Nigeria and they’ve been getting results, which is important for the national team. In Lagos, we don’t have a grass field. We only have the synthetic one. I think that is the reason why the Super Eagles is not in Lagos to play. Anywhere they play in Nigeria, Nigerians will surely support them.”
‘The Match For Ambode’ featured ex-players like Stephen Appiah, El Hadji Diouf, Didier Zokora, Khalilou Fadiga, Diomansy Kamara, Titi Camara, Abdul Kader Keita, Herita Ilunga on the visiting teams’ side and Taribo West, Tijani Babangida, Uche Okechuwku, Emmanuel Amunike, Nwankwo Kanu, Okocha, Mutiu Adepoju, Victor Ikpeba, Julius Aghahowa , et al on the green and white side. Goalscorers are Fadiga, Keita, Titi Camara and Diouf for the Fanny Amun coached Africa XI team, while the net-shakers for Bonfrère Jo-coached Nigerian side are Kanu, Garba Lawal, Obafemi Martins and Ayo Makun A.Y.
Special Guest, George Weah of Liberia was ably represented by Minister Zeoga Wilson at the event. Also in attendance was Governor Ibrahim Dankwanbo of Gombe State among other dignitaries.