Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu, has looked back on how he missed out of winning the African Cup of Nations Championship as a player, stating that he wasn’t destined to lift the coveted trophy during his active days with the Super Eagles.
The former Besiktas of Turkey goalkeeper represented the Nigeria senior national team at three AFCON Championships and failed to win any of them.
Speaking during an interview with Sports journalists on a foremost WhatsApp platform, Family United by Football on Saturday night, Ike Anabi’ as he is popularly called wore the green white green colours at the Senegal 92, Ghana/Nigeria 2000 and the Mali 2002 African Cup of Nations and reflected on how fate pushed him off each time, but glad that he could win it as a coach at the 2013 AFCON in South Africa.
“I think its my destiny not to win the African Cup Of Nations, because I did represent the Super Eagles at three AFCON Championships.”
“My first experience was at the 1992 AFCON hosted by Senegal, where we lost the semifinal game to our rival, the Black Stars of Ghana, then we won Cameroun at the third place match to pick the bronze.
“The 2000 Nations Cup on home soil was the most painful, because we got to the finals but couldn’t win against a team who had previously beaten us at the 1984 and 1988 Finals. I thought we deserved to win, because we played really well at the game and when it got to penalties, we were just too unlucky.
“The third time wasn’t pleasant, we lost our semi final game to Senegal, but eventually won bronze again against the host nation, Mali.
“I would have loved to win the AFCON as a player, but it wasn’t to be and I am grateful to God for all these experiences. Winning it as a coach at the 2013 AFCON in South Africa was even more fulfilling, because no one gave us a chance to win it away from home,” the former Enyimba, Heartland, Sunshine Stars and defunct Ikorodu United goalkeeper coach concluded.