Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi hopes he can help the team claim a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title in Egypt after finishing in third position with the side the last time the North Africans hosted the tournament in 2006, reports Completesports.com.
Mikel made his first AFCON appearance in Egypt 2006 and played a key role as the Super Eagles won the bronze medal for the third time in a row.
The former Chelsea midfielder who won the title with the Super Eagles in South Africa 2013, is optimistic of a better outing in the land of the Pharaohs this time around.
“It’s not a bad place to finish. I started here in 2006, and we came third ,so Egypt has always been good to me. This time, hopefully, we can do better. I’m not 100% sure this is my last one but maybe,” Mikel told reporters in Alexandria on Friday.
The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the last two editions of the tournament after claiming the title in 2013.
Majority of the players will be making their AFCON finals debut in Egypt, with the exception of Mikel, Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo. Mikel however believes that won’t affect the Super Eagles’ performance in the competition.
“The last time we were here (AFCON finals), we won. We have missed out on a few, but we are confident. There are just the three of us who have the experience, but the blend in the team is good,” Mikel added.
The Rio 2016 Olympics bronze medalist refuses to list his side among the favourites to win the tournament.
“I have been away from the team for over a year now, but I was always in contact with the team and I knew the team was in good hands. Everyone thinks we are favorites, but we are not looking at it like that. We just want to qualify and then kick on and do great things,” Mikel stated.