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Man Utd legend shows support for Nigeria ahead of AFCON last-16 clash

Rio Ferdinand
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The Super Eagles will face Tunisia in the standout game of the last-16 round.

Nigeria have shown incredible form during their current Africa Cup of Nations campaign. The Super Eagles were the only team who finished the group stage with three wins out of their three matches.

Augustine Eguavoen’s side will now have to face Tunisia in their first knock-out stage battle. The national team received a support message from former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand on Twitter.

In an interview last year, the United legend revealed he grew up with lots of Nigeria friends in Peckham, London.

He told Pulse Football: “I grew up with a lot of Nigerian friends in Peckham so I knew a lot about the culture before I visited,

The food, the attitude, I love it.

He added: “I loved the 94 World Cup team but individually (Austin) Jay-Jay Okocha is my favourite Nigerian footballer,” Ferdinand said.

Obviously from his Bolton days, he came to England and was very good for like two years.

“I have respect for Nigerian players like Sunday Oliseh, Rashidi Yekini, Kanu Nwankwo.”

What is next for Nigeria?

Nigeria’s group-stage performances have convinced most of the observers to consider them as the favourites to win the competition.

The Super Eagles defeated Egypt 1-0 before securing their knock-out stage qualification with a 3-1 victory over Sudan. Playing with a much-changed lineup, they then managed to beat Guinea-Bissau to end the group stage on a perfect note.

Their last-16 opponents Tunisia have suffered a Covid outbreak in their squad recently. 12 Tunisian players, including their star midfielder Wahbi Khazri, will miss the game due to testing positive for the virus.

In case they defeat Tunisia, the Super Eagles will face the winner of the tie between Burkina Faso and Gabon in the next round.