Cape Verde have been a great example to Africa’s smaller nations, reaching the quarter-finals on their tournament debut in 2013 and the last 16 at the 2021 edition.
The Blue Sharks provided one of the stories of a hugely entertaining group stage in Ivory Coast, winning Group B ahead of former winners Ghana and record seven-time champions Egypt.
“It’s not a big team or a big country like Senegal, Algeria or Ivory Coast but they have done such a good job,” Ba says of their last-16 opponents.
“They play amazing football and have scored some great goals. We know it will be a tough match but we can do the job and reach the quarter-finals.”
Ba is a player with plenty of self-belief, which he credits to his time developing at PSG with the likes of Chelsea and France striker Christopher Nkunku.
“When you are at a big club like PSG, there is a different mentality,” the 26-year-old said.
“You start every season expecting to win every match, every trophy. You want everything. I didn’t end up winning a lot of trophies yet in my career, but I still have this mentality from PSG – like a coldness when I win matches.
“Even against Algeria, it was a great feeling but I am straight away thinking about the next game. For me, Afcon is a chance to show my ability and my mentality.
“If I tell you my goals you will think I am crazy but I want the maximum – to play in the Champions League, to show my qualities. I still know I can play at this level and can achieve something good for me and my family.”
Source link : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/africa/68119155?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA
Publish date : 2024-01-28 07:53:19