Thursday, April 18, 2024

AFCON 2023: Simon Reveals ‘Special Demand’ In African Football

Moses has shone in Cote d’Ivoire and has two Man-of-the-Match award

Super Eagles winger Moses Simon has highlighted the stark contrast between club football and representing his nation, particularly in a high-pressure tournament like the Africa Cup of Nations.

Simon, with two Man-of-the-Match awards, shared his insights with reporters in Abidjan.

“There’s a big difference,” the 28-year-old asserted. “Club football is more about tactics, but African football is about physicality, strength, and just going out there to fight and win. You can have 90% of the ball possession. It doesn’t matter if you lose; winning is the only goal.”

Fully adapted

Simon’s performances at AFCON 2023 demonstrate his grasp of the unique demands of African football. However, the Nantes winger emphasised team success over individual accolades.

“I’m happy with the awards, but winning is everything,” he declared after his latest Man-of-the-Match performance against Angola.

“Individual awards don’t matter if your team loses.”

Simon is also solidly rooting for his teammates like Victor Osimhen, who has just one goal to his name despite his battling performances across every game so far in Cote d’Ivoire.

“The team spirit is good. Osimhen is focused on winning, not just scoring. He’ll take his chances, but the team comes first.”

Securing his second Man-of-the-Match award after his earlier performance against Guinea-Bissau, Simon’s assist for Lookman’s winning goal was instrumental in Nigeria’s semi-final win.

Now, Simon’s sights and those of his national teammates are all set for Wednesday’s clash against South Africa, where they aim to inch closer to their dream of winning a fourth AFCON title.

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