The 2024 Africa Cup of Nations final is upon us, with Nigeria and the Ivory Coast looking to end their long silverware droughts.

These are two of the biggest nations in African football, and they will no doubt provide a spectacle this weekend as they look to win the trophy for the second time this century.

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The AFCON trophy is a special itemCredit: AFP

Ivory Coast are the host nation and will be backed by a huge crowd, while they have grown stronger as the tournament has progressed.

However, Nigeria have arguably been the best team, only conceding two goals all tournament.

So, it’s all set to be an absolute thriller.

When was the last time Ivory Coast won AFCON?

Ivory Coast have been great hosts for this tournament and have overcome some setbacks to make it to the final, where they hope to make history.

The last time Ivory Coast were crowned champions was in 2015 under Herve Renard.

The Elephants had a great squad, with Yaya and Kolo Toure, Serge Aurier, Gervinho and Wilfried Bony all part of the team.

The final, though, was extremely tense as Ghana and Ivory Coast played out a 0-0 draw.

The match was decided on penalties, with Ivory Coast coming out on top 9-8.

Goalkeeper Boubacar Barry saved Brimah Razak’s penalty before scoring his and becoming an instant hero.

This was the second time Ivory Coast were crowned champions of Africa after their 1992 success, and they will be hoping to make it three times this weekend.

Barry was the hero for the Elephants in 2015

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Barry was the hero for the Elephants in 2015

When was the last time Nigeria won AFCON?

For the Super Eagles, it has been even longer since they tasted success in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Nigeria last won this competition in 2013.

Their squad included former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses.

But barring those two, this was one of the worst Super Eagles teams on paper.

However, head coach Stephen Keshi created a strong group, and thanks to Emmanuel Emenike’s goals, they made it to the final and played Burkina Faso.

But it was Sunday Mba who scored the winner in a 1-0 victory for Nigeria in the final.

It’s been lean pickings since then, and the current Super Eagles will want to change that with Nigeria’s fourth AFCON title.

Mba's winner sparked wild scenes

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Mba’s winner sparked wild scenes
Didier Drogba spotted giving Napoli star Victor Osimhen a hug in the tunnel before Nigeria match at AFCON

Who has won AFCON the most?

The Ivory Coast and Nigeria are just two of five multiple winners of the AFCON.

However, neither are the most successful country.

Egypt have been the kings of Africa more than any other nation, winning it seven times since its creation in 1957, including three times in a row from 2006-2010.

Cameroon are the second-most successful nation, winning it five times.

So, both of these 2024 finalists have a way to go to catch the Pharaohs.

Multiple AFCON winners

1: Egypt – 7 (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010)

2: Cameroon – 5 (1984, 1988 2000, 2002, 2017)

3: Ghana – 4 (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)

4: Nigeria – 3 (1980, 1994, 2013)

5= DR Congo – 2 (1968, 1974)

5= Algeria – 2 (1990, 2019)

5= Ivory Coast – 2 (1992, 2015)

Egypt are the most successful team in AFCON history, although Mohamed Salah is yet to taste glory

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Egypt are the most successful team in AFCON history, although Mohamed Salah is yet to taste gloryCredit: getty

AFCON 2024 Final: Who will be crowned champions?

This match is extremely close to call because both sides have excellent players.

Nigeria can call upon Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi, while the Ivory Coast have Sebastien Haller, Franck Kessie and Simon Adingra.

The Elephants will also be backed by a huge home support that could work both for and against them, depending on the game state.

The Super Eagles have already played and beaten Ivory Coast as well, coming out on top 1-0 in the group stages.

Nigeria will start this one as favourites and have been remarkably tough to break down.

They also know that an early goal could drain the crowd and make things very nervous at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

Osimhen has only scored one goal in the tournament, but you can never rule him out

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Osimhen has only scored one goal in the tournament, but you can never rule him outCredit: AFP

However, fate appears to be on the home country’s side because they somehow made it through the groups as one of the best third-placed sides after losing 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea.

They even sacked Jean-Louis Gasset as head coach after that match and still made it through.

They then beat the holders Senegal on penalties before coming from 1-0 down with ten men to beat Mali in the quarter-finals, with a goal in the last seconds of extra time.

The semi-final was a bit more straightforward as they outclassed DR Congo in a 1-0 victory.

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