Keshi proud of his players following Africa Cup of Nations triumph

Stephen Keshi hailed his Nigerian side after their 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso and believes that the future is bright for the Super Eagles
Stephen Keshi has expressed his pride and excitement after Nigeria's 1-0 triumph over Burkina Faso on Sunday night.

"I am so proud of what my players did in this tournament. They played well and concentrated on the job. They have so much potential," Keshi said.

Keshi is only the second man to lift the Africa Cup of Nations as player and coach, after winning the title in 1994 as captain of the Super Eagles. Once a celebrated player and now certainly a famous coach, Keshi believes that the Super Eagles can only improve after their triumph in Johannesburg.

"When I came on board a year and a half ago my dream was to make Nigerians happy that they could have a very good team they could be proud of," he said.

"We are not there yet but we are in the process and I am happy about that."

Sunday Mba had put Nigeria into the lead in the first half, but the Nigerian coach could only think of his side's capitulation against Burkina Faso in the group stages, where the Stallions scored a late goal via the boot of Alain Traore. 

"You don't want to know what was going on in my head five minutes from the end," said the Nigeria coach.

"So many things were going through my head but I was keeping the faith."

The Super Eagles will now take part in the Confederations Cup in Brazil this year, something which Keshi is relishing.

"It is an honour for us as Nigerians to represent Africa," said Keshi. "I haven't even thought about it yet but it gives us the chance to continue to improve."

Burkina Faso coach Paul Put was tearful after the match, but was also proud of what his players had achieved in their unlikely run to the final.

"We showed Nigeria a bit too much respect in the first half - in the second half we tried to do everything possible. But you have to be big when you lose and small when you win," Put said after the match.

"Possibly, we were a little tired after two matches that went to extra-time, but I'm not going to look for excuses. The whole of Burkina Faso can be proud of their players."