Posted on May 22, 2006
In the eyes of the Ivory Coast team, it was a “divine qualification.” The underdogs will finally perform on soccer’s greatest stage in their first World Cup appearance, providing fans with a high caliber of talent to keep them on their toes. While not so strong in the past, the Ivory Coast has emerged over the last two years as one of the most powerful soccer nations in Africa. Divine, indeed.
Star striker Didier Drogba (Chelsea) has imposed his winning mentality on the team and become an influential leader. With nine goals in qualifiers, Drogba is a fierce weapon for the Ivory Coast. His solid skills—incredible speed and goal-scoring talent—coupled with European playing experience will certainly help give him the chance to make his mark in World Cup history. Also look out for the young forward Aruna Dindane (Racing Club de Lens), whose teamwork with Drogba in the qualifiers is touted as the reason for the Ivorian’s success.
Kolo Touré (Arsenal) is another young star on the rise. The 24-year-old’s acute tackling abilities make him one of the most sought-after defenders in European soccer. The well-rounded player is also famous for his “venomous shot.”
Often joining Touré on the backline are Cyril Domoraud (US Créteil) and brother Yaya Touré (Olympiacos), both talented defenders to look out for. The Elephants should also get valuable contributions from Didier Zokora (Saint-Etienne) and keeper Jean Jacques Tizie (Esperance Tunis).
The Ivory Coast’s potential lineup has already granted them a historic qualification to the World Cup. Though slotted in a tough group, the talented squad is set to leave a big impression on the world stage.