Nigeria’s last group opponents at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations are flaunting exposure gained from their pre-championship camp in France, with a view that they can shock the Super Eagles on June 30.
The AFCON debutants camped at the headquarters of French Football Federation in Paris, which has put the players in an upbeat frame of mind, and enthusing that they stand a great chance of upsetting Nigeria in their last match of Group B.
Madagascar touched down in Cairo from France, where they had their pre-tournament training camp, and were received at the airport by enthusiastic fans who gathered at the arrivals section to give their players a warm welcome to the AFCON 2019 venue.
Madagascar, who are making their debut in the biennial African football showpiece, are in Group B and will play their matches at Alexandria Stadium, starting against Guinea, before they face fellow debuting team, Burundi, and then end their first round exploits versus Nigeria.
Their first ever opponents in AFCON history, Guinea arrived earlier at their base in Alexandria and had their first team meeting, all set for the opening game on Saturday, same day Nigeria open against Burundi.
Incidentally, Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr’s wife is from Madagascar, which means Nigeria’s June 30 battle against The Barea would be like the Franco-German gaffer tackling his own in-laws.
Rohr has been handling the Eagles since 2016, following the hasty exit of former captain, Sunday Ogorchukwu Oliseh after a short term in charge, but this c ould be the most emotional game for the ex-Gabon, Burkina Faso and Niger Republic handler, as he is married to a Madagascan lady and often spends his holidays in the Indian Ocean island-nation.
Rohr’s wife runs a hotel in the Malagasy capital, Antananarivo, but she does not fancy travelling with her husband across Africa, but prefers backing his progress from the comfort of the ancestral country with an estimated population of 25 million people.