Pitroipa calls Eagles 'phenomenal'
Burkina Faso midfielder Jonathan Pitroipa says he is overwhelmed by Nigeria’s performance at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and believes the current squad is a rebirth set to rule a continent now and into the future.
The Stallions’ playmaker spoke to supersport.com after his side leapt into the final of the tournament on Wednesday following their nerve-racking win over Ghana at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
“At the beginning of the tournament nobody thought Nigeria would be as awesome as this. We were all watching out for Ivory Coast, Algeria and Ghana, but today we see that Stephen Keshi has groomed a team that would rule the continent for now and beyond. They are phenomenal.
“The Super Eagles keep improving by each game and I see them doing that in the final against us, but our players too will fight to finish. One similarity between the two teams meeting in the final is that they both have almost the same level of determination and I can add stamina too,” the Rennes midfielder said.
The 26-year-old may likely miss Sunday’s clash after he was expulsed for bagging two yellow cards, but he remains hopeful to be part of the action.
“The referee’s decision to send me off was hard to digest. I knew I was brought down, perhaps I’d have got a yellow if I hadn’t been book. I don’t know for sure what will happen but I feel our officials will be lodging an appeal to Caf to rescind my suspension.”
Burkina Faso are reaching an Afcon final for the first time, which appears to be a mission accomplished for coach Paul Put, who was only tasked with putting up a better showing than his predecessor Portuguese manager Paolo Duarte, who failed to progress from the group stage last year. However, Pitroipa says they would love to hit the iron now that it’s hot.
“I believe it’s our time and we shouldn’t be satisfied with where we have reached so far in the tournament. Hit the iron when it’s hot.”