Former Ghana defender John Painstil believes the Africa Cup of Nations is tougher than the FIFA World Cup.
According to Painstil, who played in two World Cups and five Nations Cup, the biennial continental competition is strongly contested for because of the rivalries among African countries.
“I think the Africa Cup of Nations is stronger than the World Cup,” he told Goal, “because Africans, we know ourselves, and the competition is very high.
“I’m not going to talk about the officiating side [of things], because the officiating is fantastic, but when we’re playing African countries against each other, we call it a derby, a local derby, and it’s very different—it pushes us.”
“[The Afcon] gives us more strength to work and to prepare for the World Cup, but for me, the Afcon is always tougher than the World Cup itself,” he continued.
“It gives the players experience, and an idea of competing in these tournaments,” the former wideman concluded, “so for [Ghana], the Nations Cup pushed us to where we got to in the World Cup.”
Painstil made 89 appearances for the Black Stars in a career that saw him enjoys spells at English side Fulham, West Ham and Leicester City.