Amuneke: African nations can’t win the World Cup just by talking

The football great has stated what African teams need to do to end their wait towards winning the global football showpiece

Former Nigeria and Barcelona star Emmanuel Amuneke believes an African team would someday win the Fifa World Cup, but it cannot be achieved by mere talking.

Since the maiden edition of the global football showpiece staged in Uruguay in 1930, the trophy has remained elusive to African countries.

The closest attempt was a quarter-final finish achieved by Cameroon, Senegal, and Ghana in 1990, 2002 and the 2010 editions respectively.

In a chat with the Fifa website, the 1994 African Player of the Year opened up on what the continent must start doing to make that a reality while hoping for a reform of the international match calendar to allow more players from Africa to play on the highest stage.

“Football is continuously evolving and changing,” said Amuneke.

“I think the only way we Africans can do better, is by going back and developing our players. It is true that we have a lot of great players playing in Europe, doing very well but, of course, we also have to think about those playing in the country, how we can aid them to become much better players and how we can develop them.

“I have always believed that in football, when a player is more knowledgeable about the game, his decision-making becomes much better.

“I think educating our young players and preparing them for the future is the key. Over the years, people have said ‘Africa is going to win the World Cup’ and I agree but we cannot win the World Cup just by talking. We have to develop the young generation and lay foundations for the young ones to be in a position to be able to compete.”

Also, the former Tanzania coach highlighted the exhaustion football stars are under in terms of intercontinental travel, while stating the need for players to have rest periods in a bid to optimise their performances.

“I think that period of resting for the players is key,” he continued.

“And in the calendar, if there is a way to fix that, it’s a welcome development that can aid the clubs and the national teams.”

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