Ahmed Musa has not played any minute for the Super Eagles at AFCON.
Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has addressed concerns surrounding national team captain Ahmed Musa’s lack of playing time at the ongoing AFCON tournament in Côte d’Ivoire.
Despite not featuring in any of the Super Eagles’ four matches, Peseiro insists Musa remains a crucial figure for the team.
“He can play and also be a good leader,” Peseiro stated at the post-match press conference after their victory against Cameroon. “I have two other captains, Ekong and Omeruo, who are doing a fantastic job regardless of playing time.”
Peseiro emphasized that Musa’s presence transcends playing minutes, highlighting his dual role as leader and mentor. “If he weren’t an option, I wouldn’t call him,” he explained. “But because he is, his contribution goes beyond the pitch.”
Peseiro further elaborated on how Musa’s experience benefits the team, particularly the younger players. “We have 11 players experiencing their first AFCON,” he said. “Someone needs to manage them, like me. Sometimes, I ask Musa, Omeruo, and Ekong to share their knowledge and explain the tournament atmosphere.”
Musa had expressed confidence in the Super Eagles going all the way despite the injury setbacks that denied some key players the chance of making Nigeria’s AFCON party to Ivory Coast.
Acknowledging the challenge of injuries, Musa said, “In football, you have to expect the unexpected. Injuries have greatly affected us, but we can’t dwell on that. We have to pray for their recovery and focus on the next game.”
Despite the challenges, Musa remains confident in the team’s ability to succeed. “Do I still believe the Super Eagles can do it again?” he asked rhetorically. “Insha Allah, I still have that belief.”
The Super Eagles defeated Cameroon on Saturday to qualify for the quarter-final of the ongoing AFCON. They will return to action on Friday when they face Angola in the quarter-final