“This is our year” – Super Eagles star Simon dreams Nantes first Cup triumph in decades

The Canaries have not won any trophy of any kind in over twenty years, but they are on the verge of rewriting the history books after reaching the final of the premier knockout cup competition in French football

Nigerian forward Moses Simon has expressed his happiness at helping Nantes overcome semifinal foes AS Monaco and get to the final of the Coupe de France.

Simon was one of the heroes for Nantes as the Yellow House overpowered the Monégasques on penalties in one of the competition’s semifinal matches played at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

Both teams were inseparable at full-time, with scores stuck on two-all before penalty kicks decided the winner. Simon netted the winning spot-kick for a 4-2 victory, with ecstatic Nantes fans invading the pitch afterwards.

Many were either still babes or unborn when Nantes last won the Coupe de France in 2020. The Canaries were winners of Ligue 1 and Trophée des Champions the following year, but they have won nothing meaningful ever since.

Last season, they were relegation candidates after finishing 18th of the 20-team table, but they narrowly escaped through the playoffs.

But former PSG manager Antoine Kombouaré has caused a sharp turnaround in their fortunes and has them currently flying in 7th position on the league table. Simon’s three goals and seven assists have been crucial to that excellent run.

The Nigerian’s influence has now spread to the French Cup, and he reveals it would do his career a world of good if Nantes could triumph over Nice in the final in May.

“It is going to be a plus for my career, to win a trophy with FC Nantes,” Simin told CkdMedia.

“I strongly believe this is our year; we hope to replicate that form in the finals of the cup game. We remain humble in victory; we want to end the season- high and perhaps pick a Europa League ticket.

“We are on course presently, we are 7th position on the log, and we are in the finals of the cup game. I think we deserve the victory against Monaco. We gave it our all, right from the commencement of proceedings till the end of the match”.
It will not be the first cup win of Simon’s career, though.

The Nigerian international played a vital role in helping Gent secure the Belgian Pro League title in 2015. The 26-year-old added the Belgian Super Cup the following year before completing his switch to Spanish La Liga side Levante in 2018.

Simon joined Nantes initially on loan in 2019 before the club sanctioned his permanent move for €5 million two years ago.

Simon, arguably Nigeria’s best performer at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, has been included in the 30-man Super Eagles list scheduled to clash with Ghana in a FIFA World Cup playoff later this month.

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