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Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro Differentiates Between AFCON, Copa America, Asian Cup

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The out-of-contract coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, has admitted that the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is different from the Copa America and Asian Cup.

Jose Peseiro, who became the head coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria in 2022, led the team to the 2023 AFCON in Ivory Coast, where they lost 2-1 in the final to the hosts.

That marked his first experience in the African Championship after tasting South American and Asian Championships.

Note that Jose Peseiro had led Venezuela to the Copa America and Saudi Arabia to the Asian Cup before leading Nigeria to AFCON.

In an interview with Goal, Jose Peseiro assessed the three continental competitions, stressing that the AFCON has a different atmosphere.

“In terms of atmosphere, it is incomparable”, Jose Peseiro said. “Already, with Venezuela, there was none at all because we were playing during the Covid period. The stadiums were empty.

“In Asia, it’s different. I believe that here in Africa, there is greater proximity with the supporters or even the media. Which makes it more alive. But that also means there’s more pressure.

“And when it comes to the football produced, it’s different too, that’s for sure. The level of commitment and standards are different. This can be seen in particular with more open matches. Even teams that are less technically well-equipped manage to provide beautiful football through the enthusiasm and commitment they offer.

“And then, it must be said that there are very good players in Africa. 90 percent of them play in Europe, in very good championships. And the Europeans may be pretending not to be interested in this tournament, but I can tell you that they all have their eyes on it.”

Meanwhile, Jose Peseiro, whose contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officially expired on Thursday, February 29, 2024, noted that he could deal with the pressure that comes with coaching Nigeria because he had prepared for it ahead.

The 63-year-old Portuguese tactician said: “For me, considering my age and the experience I have, it’s not that difficult. I prepare in advance. I knew it.

“The media and social networks can have a positive side for our lives, but sometimes it is negative. But we have to be understanding. And also accept it, because we can’t change anything.

“Sometimes it wrongly criticizes us and it’s not pleasant, and it’s not only in football that we see this. But I can bear it. I never respond to criticism or fake news.

“It’s not easy playing for the Super Eagles. It’s a heavy jersey to wear. Not like the others. You have 200 million Nigerians behind you. And who put pressure on you and complain.

“Sometimes they also use bad terms when talking about players. Against me too, but I know how to manage. On the other hand, when it comes to the players, it upsets me. Because the players feel it and they suffer from it.”