Omeruo and Musa on the verge of immortal AFCON record

Omeruo and Musa on the verge of immortal AFCON record
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The Super Eagles will go into the AFCON 2023 finals on Sunday against the hosts Ivory Coast, who booked their place following a 1-0 victory over DR Congo in the semi-finals.

It would be the eighth AFCON final the Super Eagles would feature. Of the seven they have played, they won three and lost four.

The losses have come against Algeria (1990) and Cameroon (1984, 1988, 2000).

With all the finals they have played, the Super Eagles have not had any player that has won it multiple times, but several players have played several AFCON finals.

On Sunday, when the Super Eagles tackle Ivory Coast in the AFCON final, the captain of the Nigerian side, Ahmed Musa, and one of his assistants, Kenneth Omeruo, are on the threshold of history.

They seek to become the first Nigerians to win two AFCON titles.

Musa and Omeruo seek historic second AFCON title

Ahmed Musa and Omeruo could win second AFCON title
Photo: Gehad Hamdy / PictureAlliance / Icon Sport

The Super Eagles last played an AFCON final in 2013. The game (19 years after their last title and 13 years after their seventh final) saw Nigeria pip Burkina Faso 1-0 to win its third AFCON title.

In the squad that day was 24-year-old Ahmed Musa and 23-year-old Kenneth Omeruo.

Little did they know that 11 years later, they would be leading another generation of Super Eagles to try and win another title.

For the two battle-tested veterans, AFCON 2013 was their first, and they made it a memorable one.

If the Super Eagles beat Ivory Coast on Sunday, Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo will become the first Nigerians to win two AFCON titles.

The only players to come close to achieving this feat are Jay-Jay Okocha,
Sunday Oliseh, Emmanuel Amuneke, Victor Ikpeba, Henry Nwosu and Muda Lawal.

Nigerian players that have played multiple AFCON finals

Rashidi Yekini has played four AFCON finals
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Several players have attempted the feat of multiple AFCON titles, with some coming close and others playing in the final but not winning.

The Nigerian national team is replete with legendary players that have featured in many finals.

They range from Stephen Keshi, Rashidi Yekini and Muda Lawal to Sunday Oliseh, Jay-Jay Okocha and Victor Ikpeba.

So, which Nigerian player has played in the most AFCON finals? Rashidi Yekini is the Nigeria player who has played in the most finals.

See the table below of Nigerians who have appeared in the most finals.

Nigerian players to have played the most AFCON finals
# Name Years
1 Rashidi Yekini 1984/1988/1990.1994
2 Henry Nwosu 1980/1984/1988
3 Peter Rufai 1984/1988/1994
4 Stephen Keshi 1984/1988/1994
5 Ademola Adeshina 1984/1988/1990
6 Muda Lawal 1980/1984
7 Yisa Sofoluwe 1984/1988
8 Sunday Eboigbe 1984/1988
9 Uche Okafor 1988/1994
10 Humphrey Edobor 1984/1988
11 Uche Okechukwu 1990/1994
12 Daniel Amokachi 1990/1994
13 Augustine Eguavoen 1988/1994
14 Andrew Uwe 1988/1990
15 Alloy Agu 1990/1994
16 Isaac Semitoje 1990/1994
17 Finidi George 1994/2000
18 Mutiu Adepoju 1994/2000
19 Jay-Jay Okocha 1994/2000
20 Sunday Oliseh 1994/2000
21 Emanauel Amuneke 1994/2000
22 Victor Ikpeba 1994/2000

How Nigeria stacks against some other legends

Ahmed Hassan has won the most AFCON titles
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Egyptian footballer Ahmed Hassan has the most appearances in a final match, playing in four finals – 1998, 2006, 2008, and 2010. He won all finals.

Roger Milla played in four tournaments, scoring seven goals overall and winning twice – in 1984 and 1988.

Samuel Eto’o was a crucial cog in a dominant era for Cameroon when they became just the second nation after Egypt to defend their title with back-to-back wins in 2000 and 2002.

Rigobert Song was captain of the Indomitable Lions when they won the title in 2000 and 2002.

This article was most recently revised and updated 5 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).