Cape Verde aims to exceed expectations

Posted : 02 January 2024

The Blue Sharks will return to the 2024 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) as underdogs, but African countries must be wary of their second appearance for the second consecutive time.

This time around, they are placed alongside familiar difficult foes in one of the toughest groups of the preliminary stage, Group B, with Ghana, Egypt, and Mozambique.

Cape Verde had their best performance in AFCON in 2013 when they reached the quarter-finals against all odds.

With the CAF TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations set to kick off in Ivory Coast on January 13, Cape Verdeans will participate to make another statement because since the Cameroonian edition two years ago, the West Africans have strengthened their defense with the addition of the young talent Logan Costa and in midfield with Deroy Duarte.

These two new assets are crucial for Bubista to achieve Cape Verde's best AFCON performance.

Cape Verde's Group B Matches:

January 14, 2024: Ghana vs. Cape Verde, 8:00 p.m. GMT, Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan
January 19, 2024: Cape Verde vs. Mozambique, 2:00 p.m. GMT, Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan
January 22, 2024: Cape Verde vs. Egypt, 8:00 p.m. GMT, Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan.
A player to watch on the team is Ryan Mendes, a highly versatile winger. Possessing excellent technical skills, he also boasts exceptional speed, allowing him to make explosive accelerations.

While not very physical, he stands out for his good vision of the game, with well-timed distribution and interceptions.

His good jumping ability occasionally allows him to score with headers. In recent years, he has also played as a central midfielder, impressing with his withdrawals and ability to restart the play.

Coach: Pedro Leitao Brito, aka "Bubista"
A man of dialogue, a natural leader, and a born winner, Bubista is a real asset for Cape Verde. Leading the Blue Sharks since 2020, he has implemented a 4-3-3 formation based on a physical game, relying on a very athletic backline quickly transitioning to the attack.

While his system has brought success, he is occasionally criticized for his style, deemed excessively pragmatic and cautious.

Cape Verde's AFCON Achievements:

2013: Quarter-final
2015: Group stage
2021: Round of 16


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