With only 5 days left to the start of the Africa Cup Of Nations, things are heating up for the tournament favourites. Yesterday the Elephants of Ivory Coast led by their on-form captain Didier Drogba landed in Tanzania for a series of friendlies with the Taifa stars and the Amavumbi of Rwanda.
Today the Indomitable of Cameroon led by their perennial Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o land in my home city of Nairobi for a pre-tournament round of friendlies. Being the first football tournament of the new year, CAN will definitely be the perfect curtain raiser for the summer World Cup that will be held in South Africa.
The favourites to progress far in this tournament are traditional powerhouses Cameroon, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana. As the hosts, Angola cannot be written off. Ghana who have many of their stars nursing injuries will be captained by Chelsea anchor man Micheal Essien. The Black Stars are looking to win this tournament for a 5th time to try and match the record of Egypts. The Pharoahs have won the tournament a record 6 times their last success coming in 2008 where they fell the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon by a solitary goal thanks to the ingenious of Rigobert Song.
This time however, the stakes are much higher as most of the stars will be appearing at this tournament for the last time and they will be looking to end their careers with the CAN trophy. When the Kick-off whistle sounds next Sunday, you can be sure that the 2010 football extravaganza has official begun.
Photo credit: official CAN website