Saturday, January 14, 2012
Africa Cup of Nations - Group B - Cote d' Ivoire
Colours: All orange
Country population: 20,617,068
The Ivory Coast will go into the competition as one of the favourites with a wealth of players who play in some of the world's biggest leagues including Emmanuel Eboue, Didier Zokara, Yaya Toure, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba and Gervinho. They haven't always been African heavyweights though, their sole victory in the Africa Cup of Nations coming in 1992 when they beat Ghana to lift the trophy on penalties. It took a record breaking 24 penalties to separate the teams, a record that the equalled one that the Ivorians had already set in their quarter final victory over Cameroon.
The coming of age for Cote d'Ivoire came in 2005 when they qualified for the world cup for the first time. since then as well as playing in 2006 World Cup Finals they also qualified again in 2010, however they haven't got out of the group stages on either occasion.
star player: Didier Drogba
With such a wealth of talent at their disposal it is difficult to choose one star player and the way Roberto Mancini has been moaning, he definitely thinks it should be Yaya Toure. However, Didier Drogba has been the Ivorian's most high profile player for the Elephans, as they are affectionately known, over the years and has scored 51 goals for his country as well as winning every trophy in the Premier League with Chelsea. Apart from being the country's leading scorer he is also the captain and despite his reputation in England he has been commended for his charity work in his own country. He was also credited with playing apart in helping bring an end to the troubles in the country when he called for calm after they qualified for the World Cup for the first time.