Fredy: Angola AFCON run worth more than titles

Fredy: Angola AFCON run worth more than titles

Angola captain Fredy believes the team delivered on their promise to bring hope to the country after reaching the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals for the first time in 14 years despite being written off prior to the tournament.

The Palancas Negras finished top of a group containing 2019 champions Algeria, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, and also beat Namibia in the round of 16 before being eliminated by Nigeria at the weekend. 

Fredy said reaching the last eight was still a reputable run for the 117th-ranked nation in the world, according to the latest FIFA Men’s Rankings. 

"We're very proud – it's not only about getting titles, but also everyone in our country are proud of us. Football can [change] everything in the world, for me," said the 33-year-old midfielder. 

"And the situation in our country is not easy, but the wave [of optimism] we have in the country now, for the people and for us, this is [worth] more than titles."

At 33, the midfielder was the oldest member of the squad. But Fredy is optimistic both he and coach Pedro Goncalves, whose contract now comes to an end, can still play a part in the future of Angola. 

"We'll try [to build for] the future. The team now is young, I'm the old one, but I will fight with the guys [for a place in the team and still teach them," he added.

"We'll see in the future – I hope we can take more things. We have young players and experienced players as well, we are together now for three or four years already.

"I don't know the future of [the coach], but I hope he stays with us and we can grow together more and more."