Moses Simon: Still in Dream Land

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Super Eagles forward, Moses Simon crowned his impressive season with Nantes as he helped the Ligue 1 campaigner win the French Cup for the fourth time in their history and he’s still savouring the moment

Nigerian international, Moses Simon played a starring role as Nantes claimed this season’s Coupe de France with a narrow win over Nice.

Simon claimed his first trophy in France after Nantes won their fourth Coupe de France trophy with a narrow 1-0 win over Nice at Stade de France.

Simon, who has been one of Nantes’ best players this season played his part in his 73 minutes on the pitch. The Super Eagles forward made three key passes, put in five crosses and one shot off target.

The game itself was an end-to-end affair in the opening half, with both sides going for it. Nice had the first chance of the game, but it was Nantes that got close to finding the breakthrough.

However, they were denied two times by Marcin Bulka in Nice’s goal. The first half ended goalless, but fans did not wait for too long following the restart for a goal.

Nantes took the lead in the 47th-minute through Ludovic Blas’ penalty after a handball incident in the box. Blas’ penalty was the only shot on target Nantes had in the second half.

Nice tried to find their way back into the game, but Alban Lafont was solid in Nantes’ goal. With pressure mounting, Nantes manager Antoine Kombouare took off Simon for Osman Bukari in the 73rd-minute.

Although Nice piled on the pressure in the final minutes, Nantes held on for an important win. The victory means Nantes will play in Europe next season irrespective of where they finish in the Ligue 1.

Simon has however revealed the secret behind the successful campaign he is enjoying in France this season with Nantes.

Simon has been one of Nantes’ best performers in the French Ligue 1, notching six goals and eight assists as well as three player-of-the-month awards, including that of April.

The Super Eagles star was also impressive in the cup competition, netting the winning kick in the penalty shootout victory over Monaco in the semifinal of the Coupe de France.

And the 26-year-old capped it all with an eye-catching display as Nantes stunned Nice 1-0 to secure their fourth-ever French Cup triumph.

After having had time to reflect, Simon has identified his Creator as the force behind all his beautiful moments.

“Na God always put your trust in him. Champ merci à vous @FCNantes,” the former AS Trencin ace wrote on his Twitter page.

Belgian giants KAA Gent, where Simon win the league and Super Cup, have already congratulated the Nigeria international for his French Cup win.

Meanwhile, Simon’s impressive display against RC Lens at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on match-day 35 of the French Ligue 1 has earned him a place in L’Equipe’s Team of The Week.

The Nigeria international grabbed a brace to help Nantes secure a 2-2 draw away from home.

Simon put Nantes in front in the eighth minute before scoring in the second 32nd minute of the encounter.

The goals were Simon’s fifth and sixth in the league. He has also contributed eight assists from 29 matches.

According to Ligue 1 statistics, the Nigerian became the first Canaries player to be involved in more than 10 goals in three consecutive seasons in the competition since the late Emiliano Sala achieved the feat between 2016/17 and 2018/19 campaigns.

Nantes on their official Twitter handle confirmed that the winger was named in L’Equipe’s Team of the Week alongside a teammate, Marcus Mawkus.

“Very prominent on Saturday during the draw obtained in Lens, @Simon27Moses and @MarcusMawkus obtain respectively the score of 8 and 7 by the sports daily,” the club tweeted.

Nantes have nominated the Super Eagles star – alongside two others – for the player of the month award, following his brilliant performances across April.

Simon grabbed three goals and an assist in five Ligue 1 matches in the month under review.

The 26-year-old, who impressed for Nigeria at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, has scored twice and provided six assists in the French topflight this season.

Following his impressive performance for the Super Eagles at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations he was proposed to Leeds and Brentford by his agent but it fell through.

Simon, who has two and a half years left on his current deal with the Yellow Canaries is however not deterred by the botched move, as he is hopeful of playing in the Premier League when the time is right.

“I still dream of playing in the Premier League someday.

And I believe everything will work well for my good. When it is time, I will make the move. I didn’t expect we will crash out of the tournament so early but that happens in football.”

Simon revealed he is thoroughly enjoying a new lease of life in France.

“I am more relaxed and settled at Nantes, no pressure. I am also playing to my full potentials because here I am a very offensive winger,” he explained.

“At Levante, I had to fall back to help out in the defence. Now, I am a winger in a 4-3-3 formation as against the 3-5-2 we played in Spain. And so, the goals and assists are coming now.”