HomeSportsSuper Eagles Soar Above the Rest as Africa’s Most Valuable Team

Super Eagles Soar Above the Rest as Africa’s Most Valuable Team

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The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is set to kick off on Saturday, January 11, in Ivory Coast, with 24 teams competing for the continent’s biggest football prize. Among them, the Super Eagles of Nigeria stand out as the most valuable team, according to a recent report by UK betting site BettingSites.co.uk.

The report, which analyzed the market value of each squad based on data from Transfermarkt, ranked Nigeria at the top with a squad valuation of €349.75 million, followed by Morocco (€347.80 million), Ivory Coast (€334.58 million), Senegal (€274.40 million) and Ghana (€196.08 million).

Nigeria’s squad value is boosted by the presence of star striker Victor Osimhen, who plays for Italian champions Napoli and is worth €110 million, making him the most expensive player in the tournament. Osimhen, who recently signed a bumper contract extension with Napoli, is worth more than fourteen teams competing at the 34th edition of the AFCON.

Other players who contribute significantly to Nigeria’s squad value include Alex Iwobi (Fulham)-€28 million, Ademola Lookman (Atalanta)-€30 million, and Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan)-€23 million.

The Super Eagles are in Group A alongside the host nations Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea. They will begin their quest for a fourth continental title on Sunday, January 14, 2024, against Equatorial Guinea before playing Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau on January 18 and 22, respectively.

Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr has expressed confidence in his team’s chances of lifting the trophy, saying they have a good mix of experience and youth. He also praised the quality of the facilities and organization in Ivory Coast, which has invested at least $1 billion on hosting the tournament, building four new stadiums, and renovating two others.

Morocco, who had a good 2022 World Cup outing, is second on the chart with an impressive valuation of around €347.80 million, with just €2 million less than the Super Eagles squad.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star Achraf Hakimi tops the list of most expensive players in Morocco’s squad with a market valuation of €65 million, according to Transfermarkt.

Other players like Sofyan Amrabat (Manchester United)-€28 million, Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich)-€30 million, Nayef Aguerd (West Ham United)- €38 million helped contribute to the Atlas Lions Moroccan squad for this year’s AFCON.

The Atlas Lions will be banking on Bounou, Hakimi, Saiss, and Amrabat to deliver the country’s second AFCON trophy in 47 years after winning it last in the 1976 edition held in Ethiopia.

This year’s 2023 AFCON Ivory Coast host is third on the list with an estimated squad valuation of €334.58m, over €15 million lower than the Super Eagles squad.

The two times AFCON champion team is a blend of youth and mature players like Franck Kessie (Al Ahli)- €20 million, Odilon Kossonou- €35 million, and Evan Ndicka (AS Roma)- €24 million among others.

Current African champions and title holders Senegal are fourth on the valuation chart with a market squad of €274.40m.

Al Nassr forward Sadio Mane will captain the reigning champions, valued at €20 million.

Meanwhile, Senegal’s AFCON 2023 squad includes players with Premier League experience like Nicolas Jackson (Chelsea)-€35 million, Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham)-€35 million, former Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (Al Ahli Jeddah)- €10 million, ex-Blues defender Kalidou Koulibaly (Al Hilal)- €11 million all adds to the Teranga Lions squad of €274.40m.

The four-time African champions and third most successful team in the continent aside from Egypt (7 AFCON) and Cameroon (5 AFCON) trophies.

Ghana comes in at number five. The Black Stars squad for the 2023 AFCON is valued at €196.08m

West Ham United star Mohammed Kudus is Ghana’s most valuable asset, with a market value of €45m.

Other valuable players in the Black Stars team include Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao)-€25 million; Mohammed Salisu (AS Monaco) – €15 million; Antoine Semenyo (AFC Bournemouth) – €10 million; Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) – €4 million.

The 2023 AFCON promises to be a thrilling spectacle of football, showcasing the best talents and teams that Africa has to offer. With such high stakes and fierce competition, fans can expect to see some exciting matches and memorable moments. And who knows, maybe the Super Eagles will soar above the rest and claim their fourth crown.

Source: BusinessDay

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