Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong is confident that his side can contain Mohamed Salah’s in their Africa Cup of Nations opener on Tuesday.
Troost-Ekong is mindful of the challenge Salah will bring to the match, but he feels they’ve prepared adequately to manage him.
The Egyptian national team and Liverpool star has been doing an exceptional job in 2021/22 so far – having netted 23 goals in 26 games in all competitions so far.
Nigeria were drawn in Group D with Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, and one of the tournament favourites, Egypt – and they will start the campaign against the Pharaohs.
“I hope he stays as far away from us and our goal as possible,” he told BBC’s Football Focus.
“This season he’s obviously been on fire, and we all know how good he is, but at the same time I’m very confident in our team.”
Troost-Ekong is also pleased with the commitment from the players at Super Eagles the camp, saying everyone is ready to make the country pride.
“Everyone is willing to go the extra mile, which, I think, is amazing, we understand the challenges that are in front of us, but we all try to support each other,” he added.
“And when it’s time to crack a joke, we know when to do that as well. There’s a brotherhood in the team. Every day is exciting. It feels like one big family.
“It’s not just about us, it’s about the whole of Nigeria. We know there’s 200 million people at home that will want us to give our heart and soul when we play. Whenever we play, everything stops in Nigeria for 90 minutes. And everybody watches the game.
“It’s good pressure, and we use that to motivate us. There’s that moment when you’re walking out, and you understand the magnitude of being able to wear the shirt. That’s something really special.”
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