Who said what at the Africa Cup of Nations

12 February 2024 03:25

Who said what during the Africa Cup of Nations which concluded Sunday with hosts Ivory Coast defeating Nigeria in the final in Abidjan:

"We dreamed of this moment so many times. We hoped to get to this point and once again the match wasn't an easy one. The joyous scenes we see now, what's happening in the country, they deserve it too. I really hope it does a lot of people good."

– Ivory Coast's Sebastien Haller after scoring the decisive late goal in the 2-1 final defeat of Nigeria.

"God has given us a second chance, so now we have an obligation to give our everything."

– Caretaker coach Emerse Fae after hosts Ivory Coast squeezed into the knockout stage, then won the tournament.

"I do not have words, I still have trouble taking it all in."

– Fae on Ivory Coast narrowly avoiding elimination after losing two group matches.

"As long as we have a five or 10 per cent chance, we need to keep believing, because that is what makes football beautiful."

– Ivory Coast star Franck Kessie on remarkable tournament turnaround.

"When you have a scenario like that (losing a group match 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea), it is a nightmare and there is not much you can say or do."

– Ivory Coast coach Jean-Louis Gasset speaking before his mid-tournament sacking.

"It is bizarre. I was not expecting that."

– Haller, reacts to his face being on advertising billboards across Abidjan

"All the giants are going to the Ivory Coast and all of them will be plotting to dethrone us."

– A prophetic comment from Senegal star Sadio Mane as his country lost in the first knockout round

"When I saw Gabaski (Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal) preparing to shoot, we were looking at each others eyes and I could see he was a bit nervous."

– Democratic Republic of Congo goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi describing build-up to penalty which Gabaski missed, leading to the elimination of Egypt

"This is not an Afcon of surprises. It is an Afcon of hard work."

– DR Congo coach Sebastien Desabre hails the work ethic of his squad

"They do everything for me, for the Super Eagles, for the 220 million people. They fight, they fight, they fight."

– Jose Peseiro, coach of runners-up Nigeria

"Those who know me, they know I do not put myself before the team."

– Nigeria forward and reigning African Player of the Year Victor Osimhen

"They (top ranked teams) have players from big clubs, but us so-called small teams play with a lot of heart and we love our countries."

– Cape Verde captain Ryan Mendes

"My choice is to play for my country. If the club are not happy, I will find another one."

– Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly on club-versus-country issue

"It (Egypt winning Afcon again) will happen – that is what I believe. Whatever I believe I achieve, so sooner or later it will happen."

– Captain Mohamed Salah unperturbed by last-16 exit of Egypt

"Never doubt the commitment of Mo Salah. I never meet a player who is more committed to being a professional footballer."

– Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders amid criticism of injured Salah returning to England for treatment instead of staying with team in Ivory Coast

"It is my failure – not the players."

– Morocco coach Walid Regragui after shock last-16 loss to South Africa

"This Afcon is a bit crazy. We should have done better. You have to be able to 'kill' matches when the opportunity arises."

– Morocco captain Romain Saiss

"You have killed us. You are corrupt. Keep your African Cup."

– Senegal winger Krepin Diatta criticises CAF after last-16 loss to Ivory Coast

"Thank you for your service gaffer. Gambia will miss a great tactician."

– Message to Belgian Tom Saintfiet after he quit as coach

"It (Afcon) is totally different from Europe because of how intense the tournament is. Even the weakest teams can win because they are so motivated."

– South Africa coach Hugo Broos

"This game should not be played."

– Broos opposed to third place play-offs

"Typical Bafana Bafana (South Africa). The pilot must keep the jet idling at the airport. The boys will be home soon."

– Social media post after loss to Mali in first group match

"Even if the way we did it was not beautiful, even if we did it in the last minute, we do not care. Winning was the only thing that mattered."

- Coach Kaba Diawara after guiding Guinea to their first knockout win 54 years after Afcon debut

"We lost to a ridiculous goal, which showed our naivety."

– Mauritania coach Amir Abdou after last-gasp second round loss to Cape Verde

"We need spectators to enjoy watching African football. It has got to be appealing, attractive and exciting because then it has commercial value."

– CAF president Patrice Motsepe