Equatorial Guinea midfielder Ruben Belima was surprised his nation was selected to host the Africa Cup of Nations.
Original hosts Morocco had asked for the tournament to be postponed, fearing the deadly virus Ebola could spread to the country.
But the Confederation of African Football (CAF) declined, stripping the nation of the event and ejecting them from participating.
Equatorial Guinea were named hosts instead, and Belima is excited to see the event his country can produce.
"It was a surprise for us that Guinea will host the tournament. It's obviously a joy for everyone and I'm very excited to be part of this group," he said.
"People are really excited, it is an important tournament. If an event like this doesn't motivate you, I don't know what will. People are looking forward to the start."
The new hosts are drawn with Burkina Faso, Gabon and Congo in Group A for the tournament, which starts on Saturday.
Belima believes the likes of Ivory Coast and Algeria deserve favouritism.
"Obviously, we do know there are very strong teams as Ivory Coast or Algeria," he said.
"These national teams have top players, with international prestige and I believe they could be the favourites.
"But our excitement is on top of this kind of things and with our humble attitude we are going to try to make it well."
Veteran midfielder Ivan Zarandona expects an unpredictable tournament but believes the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon should be favourites.
"I think the strongest teams are Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon, they have a huge history with players who play in the European leagues," he said.
"Those squads are the favourites to win this tournament but this is football and you never know."
Watch every match of the Africa Cup of Nations LIVE on British Eurosport HD or sign up to Eurosport Player and follow the action on mobile, tablet and other devices: www.eurosportplayer.comcomments