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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: ‘You guys have to win for me’ – Adebayor issues rallying cry to Super Eagles ahead of Tunisia showdown

16:20 EAT 24/01/2022
Emmanuel Adebayor
The 2008 African Player of the Year has challenged Augustine Eguavoen’s men to stroll past the Carthage Eagles in Sunday’s clash

Togo legend Emmanuel Adebayor is fired up for Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 encounter against Tunisia on Sunday, and has issued a rallying cry ahead of the fixture.

The Super Eagles won all their group games to reach this stage, whereas the Carthage Eagles squeezed themselves through to the knockout phase – qualifying as one of the four third-best teams.

The North Africans, who are depleted with fitness issues, know they have their destiny in their own hands if they are to continue their chase for a second African title.

And ahead of the encounter billed for the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua, the former Arsenal and Real Madrid striker – who was born in Lome to Nigerian parents – has appealed to Augustine Eguavoen’s men to win for him because of his Nigerian heritage.

“Originally, my parents are from Nigeria, and I am a Nigerian, so you guys have to win for me,” the 2008 African Player of the Year said in a video posted by ex-Nigeria star Daniel Amokachi on Instagram.

“I don’t care if you guys don’t want to win for yourself, it’s your own problem, but win for me okay?”

Sharing in Adebayor’s optimism, Amokachi is bullish about the three-time African champions’ chances of reaching the final.

“We are soaring to the final but one game at a time,” he said.

“We know the game will be tricky – Tunisia are like the British weather. Today, they are shi**ty, the next second they are flying but we hope we get [the job done].”

Despite his eligibility to play for the Super Eagles, the 37-year-old chose his country of birth – making his international bow in 2000.

Six years later, he helped them qualify for the Fifa World Cup in Germany after scoring 11 goals in the qualifiers.

Three years later, he was crowned as Africa’s best footballer – beating Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt) and Michael Essien (Ghana) to the prestigious accolade.

Before announcing his retirement as a Hawk in 2019, he accrued 82 appearances with 32 goals to his credit. Both appearances and goals are a record in Togolese football.

The winner between Nigeria and Togo will face either the winner between Gabon and Burkina Faso.