1994 Africa Cup of Nations-winning winger George Finidi has advised the Super Eagles to approach their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations opening match against Egypt as if it were the final.
In what is the glamour tie of the group stage between Africa’s fifth and sixth ranked national teams, the Super Eagles arguably come into the game as slight favourites.
Nigeria struggled to qualify for the final round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, losing 1-0 at home to lowly ranked Central African Republic and were forced to a 1-1 draw by Cape Verde on matchday six.
Ajax Amsterdam legend Finidi believes Nigeria would be making a statement of intent with a victory against the seven-time African champions on January 11.
“If you win it’s going to send a strong statement but if you lose there will be a lot of questions, I’m a Nigerian I hope for the best,” Finidi told Filgoal .
“We have been struggling lately but that first game they should approach it as if it’s the final. I think Egypt has a very good team, we’ll see how we can match them.
“If we can do that that will send a signal that we are back but that’s what I expect Nigeria to do.
“We have to prepare very well and hopefully have the best result. ”
Nigeria won their first African title in 1980 and went on to win two more AFCON titles in 1994 and 2013.