Former Ghana international John Painstil believes the Africa Cup of Nations is tougher than the FIFA World Cup.
The 39-year-old featured at both tournaments during his time with the Black Stars and was a member of the team that reached the quarter-final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
According to Paintstil, the Nations Cup is a more challenging competition as compared to the World Cup.
“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 added.
“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.”
Paintsil, featured times 89 caps for Ghana, represented the Black Stars at five Afcon tournaments as the West Africans sought to end their wait for continental gold.
He was a semi-finalist on three occasions, in 2008, 2012 and 2013, but missed out on reaching the final each time.