PUMA News Archive
African Cup of Nations
"I do not have juju! Only God has juju!"
Ghana superfan Samuel Aggrey is not happy. He claims the Angolan police smashed his ceremonial pot following the Black Stars' victory over Burkina Faso because they suspected him of being a witch doctor. PUMA Football arranged to meet the man Ghanaians call "Obuor" or "Stone" to find out the truth.
"Come to Portugal," says the fat man, and I'll get you the best of everything. Sitting in the bar of the Ghana team's luxurious hotel in Luanda, the injured Michael Essien looks up, listens and smiles politely. He hears this kind of offer from complete strangers a hundred times a day. After all, this is what it means to be a superstar footballer today: the fame, the fortune, the free stuff. And right now in Angola everyone is chasing those shiny baubles.
I don't know if we can win the Africa Cup of Nations - I hope so but there are a lot of good teams who will try to stop us.
We had a lot of work to qualify. We were frustrated after the Burkina Faso game as they didn't attack a lot and tactically they stayed compact. We needed to score one and we didn't, which forced us to win against Ghana to go through.
There are few things in life quite as terrifying as your first day at school. So when PUMA Football got the chance to ride on the Angola team bus after the Black Antelopes drew 0-0 with Algeria and qualified for the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations, all those childhood memories of sweaty-palmed angst came flooding back.
"MA-LA-WA-SA-LAM! MA-LA-WA-SA-LAM! MA-LA-WA-SA-LAM!" That was the chant PUMAFootball was yelling at the top of its voice last night as we jumped around in the back of a packed pickup truck. Don't ask us what it means or whether we've got it right, but it made perfect sense yesterday after Angola beat Malawi 2-0 and Lubango exploded into a frenzied and impromptu street party.
After Angola vs Mali when the host nation miraculously managed to throw away a 4-0 lead PUMAFootball thought the African Cup of Nations couldn't get any more unpredictable. Then it did. Michael Jackson moonwalked on to the pitch during Ivory Coast vs Burkina Faso.
Didier Drogba is not afraid of much and that includes Emmanuel Eboué trying to stab him with a fork. Still that doesn't deter the mischievous full-back from trying to perforate his significantly bigger team-mate. Despite a sticky start to their Africa Cup of Nations thanks to a 0-0 draw with Burkina Faso, spirits are high in the Côte d'lvoire camp.