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World Cup 2010 Focus: Ivory Coast's Elephants

Posted by Ryan Ross Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Ivory Coast head to South Africa this summer attending only their second World Cup Finals in the nation's history; they have a new man in charge with a wealth of experience, the Swede, Sven Goran Eriksson. Whether or not Eriksson's appointment is a good thing is debatable, his International record has seen him have two flawed World Cups with England and a horrific spell with Mexico. Then again, if anyone can spring a surprise it's Sven.
The Ivory Coast may boast a few big names in their squad, players such as Yaya Toure and his brother Kolo, Salomon Kalou of Chelsea, Didier Zokora of Sevilla and their iconic captain, the irrepressible Didier Drogba; but at the last African Cup of Nations these star names did not shine through, the team were poor and went out to Algeria 3-2 after extra-time; a result which ultimately cost previous manager Vahid Halilhodzic his job.
But Les Elephants proved they can be a force by storming to World Cup qualification leading their group and and remaining unbeaten in all 12 games. Drogba scoring 6 goals en route, including a vital brace in the match away to Malawi which clinched their place in the Finals.
Getting through their group this summer is going to be a tough task; they have been drawn in the so called "Group of Death," along with Brazil, Portugal and North Korea. Eriksson will be aware his team have to at least beat Portugal or Brazil to make it through to the knockout stage. But they do have experience on their side this time, after attending Germany 2006 it's time for an African nation to succeed and Les Elephants will be hoping it's their turn.

Ivory Coast's World Cup Squad:
Boubacar BArry (Lokeren), Aristides Zogbo (Maccabi Netanya), Daniel Yeboah (ASEC Abidjan); Souleymane Bamba (Hibernian), Arthur Boka (VfB Stuttgart), Guy Demel (Hamburg SV), Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal), Steve Gohouri (Wigan Athletic), Siaka Tiene (Valenciennes), Kolo Toure (Manchester City), Benjamin Brou Angoua (Valenciennes); Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso (Monaco), Abdelkader Keita (Galatasaray), Emmanuel Kone (Internaitonal Curtea Agres), Gervais Yao Kouassi (Lille), Christian Koffi Ndri/Romaric (Sevilla), Cheik Ismael Tiote (Twente Enschede), Yaya Toure (Barcelona), Didier Zokora (Sevilla); Aruna Dindane (Lekhwiya), Seydoue Doumbia (Young Boys Berne), Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea).

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