Africa Cup of Nations is harder than Fifa World Cup – John Paintsil

Ex-Ghana defender, John Paintsil has suggested that the Africa Cup of Nations is very tough and harder competition than the Fifa World Cup for African teams.

The former Fulham right back represented the Black Stars at both the Africa cup of Nations and the World Cup, and was part of the Black Stars squad that reached the quarter-final in 2010 hosted by South Africa.

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As we recap his footballing career, and comparing his experiences in both prestigious competitions, Paintsil popularly known as ‘Agya Koo’ has explained why he thinks the Continent Nations Cup is more challenging competition than the world most prestigious tournament.

“I think the Africa Cup of Nations is stronger than the World Cup, “because Africans, we know ourselves, and the competition is very high.

“I’m not going to talk about the officiating side because the officiating is fantastic, but when we’re playing African countries against each other, we call it a derby, a local derby, and it’s very different—it pushes us.”

John Paintsil manages 89 games for Ghana, represented the Black Stars at five Afcon tournaments as the Nation aim to end their wait for continental gold.

He was a semi-finalist on three occasions, in 2008, 2012 and 2013, but missed out on reaching the final each time and also present Ghana’s first two World Cup campaigns, helping the team to reach the Last 16 in 2006 and the quarter-finals in 2020.

Paintsil further stated that the Afcon gives more strength to work and to prepare for the World Cup, but for him, the Afcon is always tougher than the World Cup itself,”.

“It gives the players experience, and an idea of competing in these tournaments,” the former wideman concluded, “so for [Ghana], the Nations Cup pushed us to where we got to in the World Cup.”

By the early 80s, Ghana were arguably Africa’s most successful footballing nation, having won four Afcon titles including back-to-back successes in 1963 and 1965.

However, after subsequent victories in 1978 and 1982, the West Africans embarked on a near-four-decade wait for the title that shows no sign of ending.

As well as being defeated finalists in 1968 and 1970, they lost in the showpiece match in 1992 and 2010 months before their outstanding World Cup campaign and in 2015 Afcon.




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