Friday, January 20, 2012

Africa Cup of Nations - Group D - Guinea

Colours: Blue with white checked shirts / black shorts / black socks
Capital: Conakry
Country population: 10,057,975

Guinea are one of my favourite teams in the Africa Cup of Nations, but somehow I don't think that they will get too far and they certainly don't have history on their side. Their best performance in the competition was when they reached the final in 1976, since then they have reached the Quarter Finals in 2004, 2006 and 2008. They have qualified for the World Cup Finals, however they have lifted the Cabral Cup Cup 5 times.

Star player: Ismael Bangoura

I have some very happy memories of seeing Bangoura play up front for Dynamo Kyiv and his goal celebration of jumping up and down like a kangaroo is always a joy to see. It was especially welcome when he scored the goal that sank Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Cup in 2008. They managed to get to the Semi final that year before going out to fellow Ukrainian's Shakhtar Donetsk. Bangoura scored one of the goals that sent them through in the Quarter Final against Paris Saint-Germain.

Bangoura started his career off at Athletico Coleah before moving on to the French League with a transfer to Corsican side Gazelec Ajaccio in 2004. He scored 15 goals in 44 league games before transferring to the bigger club Le Mans. He was then on the move to Dynamo Kyiv where between 2007 and 2008 he scored 28 goals in 46 games. He then went back to France and signed for Rennes and since 2010 he has been playing in Dubai for Al-Nasr, which probably suits his entourage who follow him around everywhere more than Kyiv did.

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