"A True Champ": Ola Aina Played AFCON 2023 Final with Injury, Nottingham Forest Coach Says

"A True Champ": Ola Aina Played AFCON 2023 Final with Injury, Nottingham Forest Coach Says

  • Super Eagles defender Ola Aina played the AFCON 2023 final against Ivory Coast with an injury, as revealed by Nottingham Forest coach Nuno
  • Despite being one of the standout players throughout the tournament and making CAF's Best IX team, his performance in the final was criticised as below-par
  • The injury revelation sparked mixed reactions from Nigerians, with some praising Aina's dedication while others questioned coach Jose Peseiro's decision not to replace him

Legit.ng journalist Nurudeen Lawal has 8 years of experience covering political campaigns and elections

Super Eagles defender Ola Aina reportedly played the Nigeria versus Ivory Coast AFCON 2023 final with an injury.

Nigerian FIFA & CAF accredited photojournalist, Sulaiman Pooja Adebayo, posted a tweet indicating that Nottingham Forest coach, Nuno, disclosed this.

Read also

Nottingham coach explains why Ola Aina struggled in AFCON final, Nigerians pen emotional tribute

Ola Aina Injury/AFCON Final/Nottingham Forest
Ola Aina and Simon Adingra during the AFCON final match between Nigeria and Ivory Coast at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara on February 11, 2024, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Photo: Visionhaus
Source: Getty Images

Aina was one of the outstanding Super Eagles players in the just-concluded tournament and made the Confederation of African Football (CAF)'s Best IX team.

PAY ATTENTION: Сheck out news that is picked exactly for YOU ➡️ find the “Recommended for you” block on the home page and enjoy!

However, his performance in the final was adjudged to be below par as the Super Eagles lost 2:1 to the Elephants of Ivory Coast.

Ola Aina's AFCON injury: Nigerians react

Meanwhile, the disclosure by the Nottingham Forest coach has sparked reactions from Nigerians.

While some praised the defender, saying they now understand why his performance was below expectation, others blamed the Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro, for not replacing him.

SportsDokita (Odogwu ☝️), @Sports_Doctor2, tweeted:

"Now this explains that horrible match he had in the finals and this is the more reason I'm not happy with Jose Peseiro!!!

Read also

"It was painful not to have won": Ola Aina shares his AFCON Memories, speaks about losing the final

"He knew Ola Aina was injured, still played him and when he saw Adingra was getting the best of him, he still allowed him on the pitch for the whole match!!!…"

Samson - The Accountant, @abayomi4sam, said:

"So, Ola Aina played that final with injury? No wonder his performance is below par. He has served his nation well and we are proud of him.
"Jose Peseiro ought to have used an alternative i.e Osayi Samuel. In all, we thank you Ola Aina for your self-sacrifice and patriotism."

Cross˚, @Elkrosmediahub, said:

"Ola Aina played that finals with an injury???? This explains how Simon Adingra could have turned him inside out.
"Knew something was definitely off!!! Wishing him a speedy recovery."

E, @iamOkon, said:

"Ola Aina actually played the AFCON final with an injury his coach has confirmed. It’s very difficult to fault any Super Eagles player - they all played their hearts out at the tournament & were all ready to do anything for Nigeria to win. Top mentality all of them! "

Read also

Super Eagles' Ola Aina returns to Nottingham Forest, smiles as he reunites with teammates in video

Dr. Adélaïde Tinuke (PhD), @MeePlusYou, said:

"Why wasn't he dropped, since he was injured? Why play an injured player when there are fit players on the bench?"

DStv Nigeria, @DStvNg, said:

"Some legends give their all for the shirt! Ola Aina played Afcon Final injured? A true champ!"

“It was painful not to have won”: Ola Aina

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Aina stirred emotions on social media as he shared memories, flicks and highlights of his performances at the 2023 African Cup of Nations.

The Nottingham Forest defender noted in the caption of a video he shared on his page that it was great to have participated in the competition.

The Super Eagles defender spoke about the AFCON consistently eluding Nigeria over the last three attempts. However, he was optimistic that he and the current Super Eagles players would win it soon.

Source: Legit.ng

Online view pixel