Some good news for all Ivory Coast fans, the Elephant’s inspirational captain Didier Drogba is set to feature in Ivory Coast’s World Cup squad after all. Drogba, who injured his arm in a friendly 2-0 win over Japan last week, linked up with his team-mates yesterday at their Alpine Training camp after successfully undergoing surgery on his fractured arm.
According to IFF ( Ivorian Football Federation), Drogba’s fitness is not known and it is very likely that he would not participate in their opening Group G encounter against Portugal next Tuesday.
Its almost as if a huge burden has been lifted off the continent’s shoulders and to dispel any doubts that his critics may have, the IFF’s spokesman Roger Kouassi issued this statement.
“His recovery has been extremely encouraging. It is suggested that, at this stage, all the signs are good and there is great hope the captain of the Elephants will be in action with his team-mates as soon as possible.”
With a full strength squad going into the tournament, the Ivory Coast are definitely a team to be reckoned with. Of all the continent’s representative’s, Ivory Coast are the only one’s to have shown real spirit by producing above average performances in their friendlies against Paraguay and Japan which of course as you know are strong footballing nations.
Sven Goran-Eriksson is definitely a happy coach after learning that his star striker will be available for the tournament. As much as there is talk about the Ivorians doing the continent proud, we must also be objective and realistic about their chances.
Portugal were semi finalists in the 2006 tournament and Brazil have won the title a record 5 times with their last victory coming 8 years ago at the expense of Germany. Ivory Coast on the hand are on only making their second appearance in a World Cup. In their last tournament, they were seeded together with Argentina, Holland and Serbia and Montenegro.
Two successive 2-1 defeats to Argentina and Holland effectively eliminated them and although they won their last experience at the biggest stage was not a pleasant one. Taking such factors into consideration, reveals that for the West African nation to progress to the second round, they would have to bring out their A game right from match day 1.
That said, the Elephants have what it takes to make history by becoming the first African side to reach a semi final.
Photo credit: from T.jones47