President of Madagascar, His Excellency Andry Nirina Rajoelina has awarded the team that represented the country at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament with a national honour.
The debutants impressed during their stay at the tournament and managed to win the hearts of fans in their country as well as the neutrals that followed their performance from around the continent and the world.
The Barea as they are nicknamed, Madagascar finished Group B unbeaten to emerge as winners ahead of Nigeria, Guinea, and Burundi who were also making their first representation at the tournament.
They went on to beat D.R Congo at the round of 16 stage before they were knocked out by the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia who beat them 3-0 to progress into the semi-finals.
The team was received back home with a hero’s welcome over the weekend by citizens who obviously are proud of the exploits of their team.
To add to that, President of Madagascar, His Excellency Andry Nirina Rajoelina has awarded all members of the team with the rank of “Knight of the Malagasy National Order” for their heroics.
The Barea was hosted at the Lavoloha State Palace in the country's capital of Antananarivo today where they have gone down in their country’s history books as national heroes.