Austine Okocha has given the Super Eagles tips on how to stop Egypt star Mohamed Salah when both teams clash in an opening AFCON group game.
The Liverpool star is the leading scorer in the Premier League with 16 goals so far and he is widely regarded as the biggest goal threat to the Eagles Tuesday.
But Okocha, who won the 1994 AFCON and he is in Cameroon as one of the Super Eagles ambassadors, said Nigeria can still stop Salah.
“African football is quite difficult and unpredictable, so Salah can easily be stopped here, unlike the kind of football in Europe,” Okocha explained.
“He can be double marked, depending on the style the coach adopted.”
Three-time champions Nigeria will be missing key players like Victor Osimhen, Odion Ighalo and Leon Balogun at this delayed AFCON.
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However, Okocha said the team’s chances of a fourth AFCON crown should not be written off.
“I believe Nigeria have what it takes to spring surprises at the tournament, but the first match is very key to your campaign,” he said.
“We need to start on a good note to boost the players’ confidence level.
“You will recall all hopes were lost on the eve of Atlanta ’96 and when we won the AFCON title the last time in South Africa.
“For me, Nigeria can show class when you least expect them to perform, that’s the Nigerian spirit.”
He added: “Though I would have loved to see the likes of Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and Leon Balogun in the team, but I still believe that there are other decent players who understand the team’s culture and use the opportunity to show case their talents.
“I was relatively new and young when I was invited to the national team, but I grabbed the opportunity with both hands when it fell on my laps.
“So, I expect the new players to do likewise and grab their place in the team.”