In total contrast to the glittering spectacle of last year after defying odds to be crowned continental champions and contributing five players to the 2012 CAF best XI, former champions Zambia have this time around failed to contribute a player to the line up named by CAF after the 29th edition in South Africa.
Following their below par performance that saw them give up the title in the group stages after drawing all their three matches against Ethiopia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso, the Chipolopolo have now turned their attention to qualifying to the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
Last year as the continent watched in admiration, inspirational captain Christopher Katongo was voted the Most Valuable Player in the 2012 tournament co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Towering defender who scored the winning penalty in the 8-7 victory over much favoured Ivory Coast Stopilla Sunzu, enterprising striker Emmanuel Mayuka (now plying his trade with Southampton in the EPL) and Kennedy Mweene of Free States FC were among the best eleven named by CAF while play maker Rainford Kalaba was named as a substitute.
Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association (CSFA) chairman Yotham Mwanza has however urged the Chipolopolo Boys not to lose sleep over the domination by new champions Nigeria who have five players in the latest CAF best XI.
“We did not have players worth naming to the team but this is not the end because we have a huge task of qualifying to the World Cup and should not lose sleep over this selection” he said.
He maintained that after the failure to defend the title, the Chipolopolo Boys have the task of making up to the fans by winning a ticket to the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
While Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, Emmanuel Emenike won the golden boot award on four goals together with Wakaso . Victor Moses got the fair play award.
Nigeria maintained their rhythm and over came a determined Burkina Faso 1-0 to win their third continental title in a tight match played before a near capacity of over 90, 000 at Soccer City stadium.
2013 CAF BEST XI: Vincent Enyeama-Bakary Koné, Nando Maria Neves, Efe Ambrose-Jonathan Pitroipa, Siaka Tiéné, Seydou Keita, John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses-Asamoah Gyan, Emmanuel Emenike.