Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo has admitted that the early exit of the Nigerian national team from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) affected his club form.
Aribo reveals how AFCON exit affected his form at Rangers
Joe Aribo is back in form for Rangers ahead of the Europa League final after suffering a dip in form after AFCON 2021
The Rangers midfielder noted that it took the intervention and help of his club manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst to get his season back on track.
Aribo was one of the stars of the Super Eagles team at AFCON 2021, playing three matches for the national side including their 1-0 loss to Tunisia in the quarterfinals.
Joe Aribo on Super Eagles AFCON 2021 ouster
According to Scottish outlet The Scotsman, Aribo revealed that he was disappointed that the Super Eagles could not achieve as much as they could have at AFCON 2021.
The 25-year-old midfielder noted that Nigeria's ouster affected him a lot and thus showed in his form when he returned to his club.
The Super Eagles star said: "There was disappointment at [Nigeria] not going as far as I felt we could have done because we had a good group stage. There was a bit in my feelings and it showed in my form."
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst helped me recover - Aribo
Aribo stated that Rangers manager Van Bronckhorst helped him get back to form by sharing his own experience of losing five semifinal matches during his playing career.
"I had to put it behind me and had a chat with the manager. He said he’d been there, he’d been in about five semi-final losses and that’s a hard thing to endure. He really helped me get back," Aribo explained.
"It’s always good to have a manager who has been there and done it. Everyone can go through their own things personally, but a manager with that kind of experience knows how to be and what buttons to push.”
Aribo is set to play in the Europa League final on Wednesday with Rangers taking on Eintracht Frankfurt at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville, Spain.
The Nigerian international has recorded three (3) assists for Rangers in the Europa League this season, bagging two in the second leg of the quarterfinal tie against Braga.