Equatorial Guinea's president awards €1 million to the national team for exceptional 2023 AFCON performance in group stages.
Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has taken a grand gesture to celebrate the remarkable performance of the Nzalang Nacional in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), rewarding the team with a staggering €1 million (Ksh177,432,835).
The generous token comes after the team's astounding victory over hosts Ivory Coast, securing a spot in the last 16 with a scoreline that left fans and critics alike in awe.
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The team's exceptional performance was underscored by a 4-0 thrashing of Ivory Coast at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium, a feat that was spearheaded by Emilio Nsue, the 34-year-old right back from a Spanish 3rd Division side based in Alicante.
Nsue's stellar play, along with contributions from Pablo Ganet and Jannick Buyla, propelled the Nzalang Nacional into the limelight, earning them the status of national heroes.
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President Mbasogo, in a display of patriotism, wore the Equatorial Guinea jersey and pledged a one million euro bonus on his official X (formerly Twitter) handle.
“For me, the match against Ivory Coast is like a final. That is why I wished them luck and promised to incentivize them with €50,000 per goal scored in our favor,” Obiang Mangue, who is fondly called Teodorín said.
The victory and the subsequent reward have stirred a wave of national pride.
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In an emotionally charged video, Vice President and the President's son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, lauded the team, declaring them the "best team in Africa."
“Today's victory has been a brilliant victory, an excellent victory, and truly, we are all very proud and happy to see how you have won against the host country 4-0," he said.
His message ended with a resounding "Bravo!" as he applauded and raised his fist in the air, a gesture of victory and solidarity.
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Juan Micha, the mastermind behind the team's strategy, spoke at a post-match press conference about the meticulous planning that led to their victory.
“We knew the opponent had a lot of pressure on them which we took into account in our strategy,” Micha stated in a post match conference .
The euphoria of the win spilled over onto the streets, with jubilant fans celebrating in Malabo, the nation's capital, and even in Abidjan, where the match was played.
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Social media buzzed with images and videos of these celebrations, encapsulating a moment of unity and joy that transcended borders.