It has been revealed that Super Eagles playmaker Rabiu Ali ‘Pele’ is the oldest outfield player among the three hundred and sixty-eight (368) players registered for the 2018 African Nations Championships.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday released the official squad lists for all sixteen teams participating at the Championship due to start this Saturday in Casablanca, Morocco. The list made available to www.aclsports.com revealed that Ali who will be making his second appearance at the tournament after his 2014 bow is only the second oldest player in the tournament after Congolese goalkeeper Barel Mouko, 38.
Born on September 27, 1980 (according to CAF), Ali is a prolific attacking midfielder who scored one of the goals which earned Nigeria qualification in August against Benin in his native Kano. Pele as he is fondly called by fans of his local club Kano Pillars will don Nigeria’s Number 10 jersey as he does at club level and carries a lot of Nigerians hopes of going far in the tournament on his experienced shoulders.
While Nigeria possess the oldest outfield player according to CAF, the Super Eagles also have in their ranks the tournament’s youngest player in Nura Mohammed.
Mohammed, 15 is yet to play professionally with his club El-Kanemi Warriors, managed by Nigeria’s assistant coach Imama Amapakabo. The teenager is highly rated and goes into the competition having shown a lot of promises during the team’s preparation.
Hosts Morocco will get the 2018 African Nations Championship underway on Saturday when they face Mauritania in Casablanca.