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Roger Milla backs African teams to excel at Qatar 2022

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By Martin Graham | 10th Nov 2022

African football legend Roger Milla has tipped the five teams representing Africa at the FIFA World Cup achieve success in Qatar.

African Champions Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia will be the Nations representing Africa at the World Cup which will take place for the first time ever in the winter. The tournament begins on November 20, with Qatar taking on Ecuador and ends with the final on December 18th.

Milla urges the African teams at the tournament to show the World their talent and why Arica has some of the best players on the planet.

“Now is a good time to show that Africa has the best football players and the best teams in the world,” the 70-year-old told BBC Sport Africa.

“We have to make our players understand that we can compete with the biggest teams. We have everything to compete with them.

“It’s up to us to get to work. We struggled for a few years but I’ve seen African football develop a lot. Now it’s time and we will see in Qatar.”

Known also for his flamboyant goal celebrations, Roger Milla was a vital part of the Cameroon team that became the first African nation to reach the last eight of the World Cup in 1990. He scored four goals in the competition at the age of 38 before they were knocked out by England after 120 minutes of play.

Since then, only Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010 have gotten to the World Cup quarterfinal stage.

Milla admits that winning the World Cup for an African nation may be tough but reaching the World Cup semifinal is a more attainable goal.

“We are a continent blessed with great footballers – we can go further than the quarter-finals. But I’ve always said that for an African country to win the World Cup, it’s hard work first of all [that is needed].

“It’s discipline and organisation. If we look at other countries today, we are at their level in football but we now have to be well-organised [too].

“I am very happy that Cameroon led the way and showed the world that Africa has teams that can compete with the greatest in the world.

“It’s not just Cameroon, Senegal or Ghana – there are other countries that can represent our continent proudly.”

African Champions Senegal were drawn in group A alongside hosts Qatar, Ecuador and European giants, the Netherlands. They will begin their World Cup adventure against Netherlands on November 21st.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are in group G along with Switzerland, Serbia and tournament favorites, Brazil. They play their first match against Switzerland on the 24th of November.

Morocco will kick of their World Cup campaign against last edition’s finalists, Croatia on the 23rd of November. World number two ranked nation, Belgium and Canada make up the rest of Group F.

Tunisia have been drawn into group D alongside Denmark, defending champions France and Australia. The Carthage Eagles will play their first match of the tournament on the 22nd of November against Denmark.

The Black Stars of Ghana have been drawn ingroup H alongside Portugal, South Korea and most significantly, Uruguay. They kick off their World Cup campaign on the 24th of November against Portugal.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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