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AFCON 2023: Atalanta Coach Hopes Super Eagles Crash Out Early

AFCON 2023: Atalanta Coach Hopes Super Eagles Crash Out Early

Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini has said he hopes Nigeria’s Super Eagles don’t go far at next year’s AFCON in Côte d’Ivoire.

Gasperini stated this as star forward Ademola Lookman get set to join his Super Eagles teammates in United Arab Emirates for camping ahead of the tournament.

On Saturday, December 30, Lookman marked his departure by netting the only goal in Atalanta’s 1-0 win against Lecce.

His 58th minute strike was enough to earn Atalanta all three points and a return to winning ways after their 1-0 defeat at Bologna on December 23.

Also Read: Iheanacho Doubtful For AFCON 2023

It is his seventh goal in 18 appearances in Serie A this season.

“Unfortunately Lookman will fly out tomorrow, but we have Muriel, Scamacca, De Ketelaere, Miranchuk and Toure. It will be an opportunity for them,” Gasperini told DAZN via Football Italia.

“I don’t want to act like I’m wishing Nigeria don’t do well, but naturally we hope Lookman isn’t away for too long. Above all, we hope he doesn’t get injured.”

Lookman was named in Jose Peseiro’s final 25-man squad for next year’s AFCON.

This will be his first appearance with the Super Eagles at a major tournament.

A run up to the semi-finals for the Eagles will mean Lookman will be back at Atalanta in February.

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  • Shuma 6 months ago

    I dont blame him. Afcon is proven to be a thorn on the backside of most european clubs. Especially when teams are trying to stay on top. It would of been wise for Boniface, Osimhen and Lookman to stay with their club. Bet you one of them will go back to their club injured. Right now they will achieve more with the club than country.

    People will claim racism here, but I agree with coaches now. Afcon is not a big as the African people portray it to be. Its like a charity match for the fans. In the sense of no hope for the country, lets just give something back home.

    And im for international break. From europe clubs to south america. But Afcon is inconsistency with where they will host, scrambling around and terrible pitches. Even south america got better pitches

    People here going to hard for mediocrity

    • Burn your TV when AfCON starts.

      • Shuma 6 months ago

        That makes sense. Bala your a bum and a inbred imbecile. Keep watching tv

    • Ojo Omiunu 6 months ago

      Down with negativity. I would hope the
      coach wishes Italy the same bad luck in 2024 Europeans championship.

    • I beg to disagree with your submission about Afcon. I just think that CAF should be more diplomatic with other world football bodies, especially UEFA, since of our players are based in Europe. I, also, think pitches used for afcon, of recent, have been top notch. The present CAF, led by the South African, Patrice Motsepe, is doing all they can in ensuring that all her matches are played on good turf. Example is as big as Nigeria is, only the Uyo stadium is approved to host super eagles competitive matches.
      Afcon is a big competition and enjoys global attention and apart from the World Cup and UEFA Cup, and maybe a little behind COPA America, no other competition is bigger. So, enjoy the best of African footfall.

    • I think beyond the smokescreen argument about weather and June/July being the rainy season in Africa often given by CAF, what Afcon organizers will not openly admit is that the timing of Afcon is driven by branding and profitability. One of the key rules in business when it comes to trying to make sales/profit and projecting your brand on the consciousness of target market is timing and location. You don’t set your timing and location the same as major and better competition i.e. Euros 2024.

      If Afcon holds the same month as the Euros, CAF won’t get good sponsors or good money from them and the spotlight will reduce on Afcon, cos in terms of branding EUFA is obviously bigger than CAF. What makes it worse is that 90% of CAF players who make the Afcon glamorous earn their pay in EUFA.

      June/July (the end of the season in UEFA) is not a commercially viable time for AFCON. The weather argument is just like number 3 on the list, but it has to be projected as the only reason cos it sounds more moral and “reasonable.”

      • Joshua 5 months ago

        You have Just said the most sensible thing in this comment section.
        Still scrolling down though.

  • Omo9ja 6 months ago

    “I don’t want to act like I’m wishing Nigeria don’t do well, but naturally, we hope Lookman isn’t away for too long. Above all, we hope he doesn’t get injured.”

    It is not your fault at all. Africa as a continent is lacking behind because of bad leadership.

    If the tournament would be play in Europe or America, you won’t be saying all this.

    We should respect ourselves first, and then outsiders will respect us.

    Aside from North Africans that have beautiful stadiums, what do we the West Africans have?

    CAF should do the needful by making sure that if you don’t have a world-class stadium as a nation, you won’t host a tournament in Africa.

    Our national stadium in Surulere, for example. Nigeria government will make millions of naira if they upgrade the stadium, but they will not do it.

    Even the Abuja national stadium is another great example. The government spent a lot of money on that stadium, but maintenance is the main problem of the Africans are. Only North are excluded in this category.

    So, Oga Gian Piero Gasperini, I will not blame you for saying whatever you wish, Nigeria, but I hope one day, Africa will get it right so that someone like you will respect Africa. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

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