On Saturday starts one of the brightest football tournaments of the world. Africa Cup of Nations is always a show, dances, and is always very colorful.
Perhaps, this competition doesn’t demonstrate the highest level of football, but it is never boring here. Gambling&Sports portal is looking forward the African fight.
The tournament in Gabon (not gibbon as Konstantin Genich once called the African state) is directly relevant to Russia. The winner of Africa Cup of Nations will arrive to Russia for the Confederations Cup next summer and will play in group with Chile, Germany and Australia.
As it often happens, Africa Cup of Nations strikes with the list of participants. For example, to Gabon there will not come the national team of Nigeria, the continental champion 2013 and the participant of the playoffs of the World Cup-2014. Zambia that took the Cup of Africa in 2012 has failed qualification. Angola, the Republic of South Africa, Guinea and the República de Cabo Verde were not selected. But the team of Guinea-Bissau - there is no football player who is playing in Africa – will debut on this tournament. For the first time since 1978 Uganda will fight for gold of the continent.
The forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations is extremely interesting from the point of view of a coach. The local national teams rely on foreign experts more as for now, and this year for a victory a number of experienced coaches will fight for a victory. All remember the fact that the national team of Ghana is headed by Avram Grant. And do you know who trains Egyptians now? And it is Héctor Cúper, the one who with Valencia lost in Champions League finals twice. The hosts of the tournament are trained by not less famous Spaniard José Antonio Camacho. Alain Giresse (Mali), Hervé Renard (Morocco), Henryk Kasperczak (Tunisia) and many others will fight for a victory. As for local professionals, it should be noted Senegal. 40-year-old Aliou Cissé will head "lions of Terangi". When being the football player he defended the colors of PSG, Birmingham, Portsmouth and a number of clubs, and together with the national team of Senegal has reached the quarterfinal of the World Cup of 2002.
Who will win the tournament?
To tell the truth it is difficult to name the winner in Africa. Often the fate of the title is decided by the goalkeepers. The team whose goalkeeper has made less mistakes, has good chances. Perhaps, the most status African goalkeeper of the present days is Cameroonian Carlos Kameni has not arrived to Africa. Wide audience does not know other goalkeepers though the attention is drawn by Egyptian Essam El Hadary . He is 43 years old, and he has already won for four times the Cup of Africa, having taken the first trophy in 1998.
Who will fight for gold?
There are a lot of challengers. Of course, it is the current holder of a trophy Côte d'Ivoire. Strong squad have Algerians. Cameroonians and Egyptians all expect to win. The national team of Gabon has all chances to fight for a title. Good chances has Senegal. Burkinabes, Malians and Congolese can spoil hosts’ nerves. It is very interesting what will Morocco show. Generally speaking, nearly all participants can come to semi-finals, there is no belief only in Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Fans of the Russian clubs can cheer on players. Krasnodar has sent Charles Kaboré to the national team of Burkina Faso, and Rostov will cheer on the Malian Moussa Doumbia. A number of ex-players from Premier League will play on tournament Some specific mentioning deserves … Cicero. Do you remember young forwarder from "Dynamo"? Now he is the head of the attack of the team Guinea-Bissau.
The cup of Africa, as a rule, strikes by the geography of the countries from where the football players are called on tournament. For the national team of Gabon Benjamin Zé Ondo from Maltese Mosta will play, Burkina Faso has called Cyrille Bayala from Moldavian " Sheriff ", and the team of Uganda has representatives of the championships of Vietnam, Lebanon and Iceland. Legionaries from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China and the UAE are the usual guests.
Africa Cup of Nations is the tournament which is hated by the coaches of the European clubs. In the middle of the season they take away football players from the teams. This year several football players have refused to participate in Africa Cup of Nations, among them are, for example, Cameroonian defender from Liverpool Joël Matip and the Ghanaian midfielder from Juventus Kwadwo Asamoah. Nevertheless, there will be still a lot of stars on this tournament. First of all, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, of course. Algerians believe in Riyad Mahrez. Senegal bets on Sadio Mané. Ivorians are strong in defense with Serge Aurier and Eric Bailly. Salah and Elneni will protect the colors of Egyptians. At the same time you should not forget that the Cup of Africa is the tournament which creates the names, and lights new stars. And as the competition takes place in January, many will keep a wary eye on those who will shine brightly.
On Saturday Africa Cup of Nations begins. The national team of Gabon has to start brightly in match against the team of Guinea-Bissau. Though it is Africa, the sensation is quite possible.