Zambia coach Herve Renard says his Africa Cup of Nations triumph was anchored on lessons learned from Egypt's success with domestic players.
Renard's championship-winning team was composed mainly of players from the continent, with Congolese club TP Mazembe contributing four. Others came from South African PSL clubs including Orlando Pirates, Free State Stars, SuperSport United and Zambian clubs. Only four players in the squad play outside Africa.
“Egypt are the best team in Africa and we had to learn from the best because they won so many times with players from their country.
“But the Zambian league is not at the same level with Egypt, so we had to take players from South Africa and from Congo,” Renard said at a press conference. “TP Mazembe has seven players from Zambia so it is easy because they understand each other.
“It was easy for us because we started a long and difficult preparation early, which would not be very easy with players from Europe.”
While he rebelled in the triumph of his local contingent, Renard said he would not be unhappy to see them make the grade to Europe.
“They have the talent and they can do well, but they have to plan their careers because it is not easy for Zambian players when they are alone.”