African football powerhouses gear up for intense battle in 2024 AFCON

Posted : 08 January 2024

Walid Regragui, the strategist behind Morocco's impressive journey to the 2022 World Cup semifinals, suggests that at least 10 teams are formidable contenders for the Africa Cup of Nations set to commence in Ivory Coast.

 

While the Atlas Lions, led by Regragui, are undoubtedly in the running, he refrains from naming the other strong contenders. Notably, Morocco made history two years ago by becoming the first African or Arab country, and only the third outside Europe or South America, to reach the World Cup semifinals.

 

The 2024 tournament is considered one of the most open competitions in recent years, with SuperSport identifying 10 contenders likely to vie for the prestigious trophy. Among them is Algeria, the impressive 2019 champions led by coach Djamel Belmadi, who has chosen a blend of experienced players, including final match-winner Baghdad Bounedjah.

 

Burkina Faso, despite being overlooked by many, has achieved notable finishes in recent Cup of Nations editions, including second, third, and fourth places. The unpredictable form of Cameroon's Indomitable Lions, the consistent performance of Egypt led by star Mohamed Salah, and the perennially strong Black Stars of Ghana are also highlighted.

 

Ivory Coast, as the host nation, carries high expectations, and coach Jean-Louis Gasset aims to handle the pressure effectively as the Elephants pursue their third title. Morocco, with its recent World Cup achievements, is considered a favorite, although Regragui acknowledges the challenges of teams eager to defeat them.

 

Nigeria's Super Eagles boast a formidable list of forwards, including new African Player of the Year Victor Osimhen. Senegal, defending champions with a core team based in Europe, and Tunisia, featuring experienced talent like Youssef Msakni, round out the list of contenders. As the tournament unfolds, these teams will compete for supremacy, and their performances will shape the narrative of this highly anticipated Cup of Nations.

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