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24 July 2024

Nations Cup shop window for Guinea talisman


Guinea durable star Pascal Feindouno will hope to use the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to get another club after he recently quit Swiss side FC Sion.

Last year, the midfielder, 31 next month, returned to Europe after three years in Qatar.

His first stop was Monaco but he packed his bags and left for FC Sion soon after the club from the Principality were relegated to the lower league.

And he only recently quit Sion after they were deducted 36 points from fielding ineligible players in a UEFA Europa League match against Celtic.

A daring attacking midfielder who weighs in with his share of goals, he made his name at French club Saint Etienne

His return to Europe last year coincided with his comeback to the Guinea national team in a decisive 2012 Nations Cup qualifying match at home to Madagascar in September.

Feindouno has been the talisman for many years since his debut in 1999 and it was only fitting that Guinea President Alpha Conde will present the reinstated captain with the country's flag at a special reception in Conakry.  

President Conde told the team to defend the pride of their country, saying he dreams of a first-ever triumph in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Guinea's best performance at the Nations Cup was in 1976 when they were beaten to the title by Morocco by a single point in a playoff.

"Getting to the semi-finals is our target," declared Feindouno.

"We reached the quarter-finals at the last three Nations Cups we featured and so the objective is to do better than that.'

The Syli Nationale are drawn in a tough Group D in Franceville, Gabon, along with Ghana, Mali and Botswana.

"We are in a difficult group," admits Feindouno.

"On paper, Ghana, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup will be the favourites to emerge from this group, while the other teams fight for the other spot. But it is the reality on the ground that counts in the end."

Guinea have been on a high since they upstaged star-studded Nigeria to qualify for this tournament, but they were brought down to earth promptly by Senegal, who won a friendly 4-1 in November.

The Guinea skipper blamed the big loss to the quick goals they let in as well as the physical presence of the Senegalese, who are one of the favourites to win this competition.

"Most of their players are two metres tall, not so us. They are far ahead but we will continue to work and work so as to close this gap," he promised.