Why ex-Chelsea star believes AFCON 2023 edition will be the best-ever in history


FOOTBALL Why ex-Chelsea star believes AFCON 2023 edition will be the best-ever in history

Mark Kinyanjui 14:08 - 11.01.2024

Koulibaly believes that the 2023 AFCON which kicks off this Saturday will be the best-ever tournament in the competition’s history.

Former Chelsea and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly believes the 2023 Ivory Coast Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be the best-ever tournament in the history of the competition. 

Koulibaly arrived alongside his Senegal teammates and coaching staff in Ivory Coast to defend their title.

Speaking to CAFOnline.com from the team’s base camp, Koulibaly revealed why the tournament would be one like no other in the tournament’s history.

“I think that the Côte d’Ivoire edition will be the best in history of the competition because all the big teams are present and are fully prepared,” he said.

“It will show the true image of African football, and I think that whoever wins the title in the end will deserve it.”

The Lions of Teranga touched down in Yamoussoukro, their base for their Group C matches admitting that they will face a tougher challenge to retain their title because of the presence of the top teams.

Senegal are drawn in one of the toughest groups of the competition consisting of five-time winners, Cameroon, The Gambia as well as Guinea who will all pose a serious threat for the champions. 

The Teranga Lions are without a doubt one of the strong title contenders as the reigning champions who have made it to two consecutive CAF AFCON finals (2019, 2021).

The Senegal skipper went on to urge his nation to keep the team in their prayers as they prepare to defend the title against the best African teams on the continent over the next few weeks.

“I ask the Senegalese fans to be behind us during the competition and to pray for us in their prayers. 

“Their support will take us far in the competition, and we will represent them well and give them a big gift in the end.”

Senegal kick off their title defense on 15 January against Gambia before facing the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in a battle of the lions three days later on the 18th before concluding their group campaign against Guinea on 23 January.