Mikel Obi tips Super Eagles to win AFCON 2023

Mikel Obi tips Super Eagles to win AFCON 2023
Credit: Icon Sport

John Mikel Obi the former Super Eagles captain has made a bold prediction about the Nigerian national football team ahead of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in the Ivory Coast.

Speaking to CNN World Sport during a recent interview, Mikel said that Nigeria will win the AFCON. And not only that, the former Chelsea holding midfielder also tipped Napoli striker Victor Osimhen to finish as the tournament’s best player.

“Nigeria will win the 2023 AFCON and Victor Osimhen will win player of the tournament,” Mikel said.

“He [Victor Osimhen] is on fire. For me, he looks a little bit like Didier Drogba; he scores goals, he holds up play, and is a strong, young, and energetic striker.”

Mikel who captained the Super Eagles to Nigeria's third AFCON trophy in South Africa, 2013 also spoke about the team's current array of options in the attacking department.

Former Super Eagles player, Mikel Obi
Credit: Icon Sport

“When it comes to the striking department, I think right now we are blessed. We are blessed with a lot of players there. [Taiwo] Awoniyi is doing well for Nottingham Forest and also for the national team. We also have Victor Boniface of Bayer Leverkusen, who is doing really well. So we are quite blessed when it comes to striking force. But we just have to fix some little issues with the defense and goalkeeping. I think if we are able to do that, we’ve got a very good chance.”

Mikel Obi on his Super Eagles future prospect

The Super Eagles legend during the interview opened up on his desire to be part of Nigeria's national team in time to come.

Mikel is of the opinion that he has what it takes to stand as a mediator between the governing body of Nigerian football and the players who have at some point in the past been at loggerheads with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

“I'd love to be involved with the Nigerian national team and I would love to be a mediator between the hierarchy and the players.” Mikel added.

The Super Eagles who are currently camping in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in preparation for the AFCON tournament, have adopted the catch-phrase “Let's Do It Again”, a statement showing their desire to triumph for the fourth time in the continent's most prestigious football event.

Nigeria are drawn in Group A alongside the hosts, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea Bissau.

Led by coach Jose Peseiro, the Eagles will begin their campaign on 14 January with their first group match against Equatorial Guinea at the beautiful Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.