Cameroon head coach Clarence Seedorf has claimed he has knowledge of football history and rivalry between Nigeria and Cameroon.
The AC Milan legend told the media at Friday’s press conference ahead of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Round of 16 fixture against Nigeria that he understood the big history between the two countries.
Cameroon defeated Nigeria in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1984, 1988 and 2000, but most painful for the Super Eagles was that agonizing penalty shoot-out loss in front of home fans at the National Stadium, Lagos on 13th February 2000.
“We are playing against a big team (Nigeria) and we are looking forward to the game, I know about the history between the two countries, the world knows this is a big game and the history between the two countries. The emotions and history of the game is huge, Nigeria might have some difficulties but they can improve. We have to focus on our own game, we have to win all our games to defend our title. Pressure is normal, nothing new about the pressure of the game, you’ve to perform well to win,” said Seedorf.
Nigeria and Cameroon share eight African titles between them. While the Indomitable Lions have won five times (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017), Nigeria were champions in 1980, 1994 and 2013.
Seedorf added; “Our philosophy will be important in the game, to play the ball and our defensive set up, our movement with the ball and off the ball. We need to keep the possession, we have to find the space in the attack, and we must stay compact defensively. This is a different stage, we are not playing for points anymore, it’s a knockout round.
“We need to have the right balance, we need to start the game properly. We have an intelligent group and we have a mission here (Egypt) to retain our title. We need to demonstrate we are the better team in the game, the beauty of AFCON is that the tournament is competitive. I have seen the Nigerian team, they played at the World Cup and they have good players, but they are facing a strong team. We’ll approach the game strongly, we are ready for the game, Nigeria will be ready but we’ll give it our best fight.”