Daily Trust (Abuja)

Africa: Kicking Off!

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With exactly one week to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, ,most discussions on football in the continent are centered on the forth coming football extravaganza in South Africa.

Football pundits are already warming up to the showpiece which promises to be a memorable one largely due to the abundant football talents that would be in attendance and the well known organizational ability of the host country.

Two time winners of the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria's Super Eagles are back to the championship after they failed to qualify for the 2012 edition in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The Eagles last won the trophy in 1994 in Tunisia when the present coach of the team, Stephen Keshi was the captain.

On Wednesday night, the list of players who would represent Nigeria in South Africa was made known and one of the most interesting things is that 17 out of the 23 players would be attending their first AFCON in South Africa.

Thus, what we have is to dedicate our cover to the 17 AFCON debutants. We have served you the profiles of the 17 ambassadors made up of six home based and 11 foreign based players. It may interest you to discover that as popular as some of the players are, they have never been to any Africa Nations Cup.

And in place of our regular interviews, we culled for your reading delight the piece from FIFA on some of the new stars on the continent who have been tipped by the world football governing body to shine at the 2013 AFCON.

In addition, our Euro round up section offers you a preview of tomorrow's big clash between league leaders, Manchester United and rejuvenated Liverpool at the Old Trafford. It is going to be a straight fight between United's goals scoring machine, Robin Van Persie and Liverpool's South American import, Luis Suarez. We also have for you our regular weekend fixtures and the current league tables across Europe.

It is on this note that we leave you to enjoy these scintillating stories. Do have a fruitful weekend!.

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