The AFCON 2019 has been mostly predictable to most – not all – but largely to the those adept in the peculiarities of African football and Dutchman Jo Bonfrère has earned every right to be in that class.
Bonfrère served as Nigeria’s head coach for three years at different times but was previously Assistant Coach to his Dutch compatriot Clemens Westerhoff, who was Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles for five years.
Both led Nigeria to the AFCON title in 1994 and Bonfrère guided the Super Eagles to the final in 2000, where the team lost in a dramatic shootout to Cameroon in Lagos.
Ever since the 73 year-old has followed football on the continent religiously and recently in a chat with brila.net he gave his predictions on the teams in the race for the 32nd edition of the AFCON.
So here’s the summary of the teams he believes are Contenders and Pretenders at the 2019 AFCON – so far he has been bang on with one of his predictions.
They are not so fantastic. This team relies too much on Mohamed Salah; no Salah no Egypt. Also there’s Trézéguet. The two players have been their inspiration, without them the Pharaohs are ordinary.
They are defending champions and maybe that’s an advantage for this team, but we have also seen that they are about power. Very physical and they can’t score. They have score many goals in the competition.
There is no coordination in the Super Eagles. The team isn’t organized and they have been lucky coming through their first two games.
Morocco is a strong team but there are too many individuals in the team who are simply playing for themselves. I don’t think they’ll go far.
Senegal have a strong core. Very interesting players but they have just been about power and there’s very little flair to how they play. I don’t see them winning this competition.
This team has depth. They score a lot of goals and even after they rested many players in their last group game you couldn’t tell the difference; they were still solid.