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Ivory Coast's World Cup Preview: Roster Grades

[champions] Chelsea x Juventus : 8
Creative Commons License photo credit: Crystian Cruz

 Ivory Coast

The Keeper

Boubacar Barry has 45 caps during his international career and the keeper is considered one of the better ones in Africa.  Barry plays for German side Lokeren and is one of the few goalies in Africa to play in a major league.  The keeper will likely be backed up by Aristide Benoit Zogbo.

Grade: C +

The Defense

Although the Ivory Coast has extremely limited World Cup experience they do have many outstanding players that are featured in several different major leagues including Arthur Boka of Stuttgart, Kolo Toure of Manchester City, and Emmanuel Eboue of Arsenal.  The club also has reliable reserve players like Guy Demel of Hamburg, Siake Tienie , and Abdoulaye Meite.

Grade: B 

The Midfield

Didier Zokora of Sevilla is the side’s most capped player and Yaha Toure of Barcelona is also one of the featured players of the unit and they continue the theme of major league experience that is all over this Ivory Coast roster.  Emerse Fae, Chiek Tiote, Emmanuel Kone, and Jean-Jacques Grosso makeup the rest of the group and once again this is one of the best groups in Africa. 

Grade: B      

The Forwards

With out a doubt this is one of the most impressive units not only in Africa, but in the world as long as Drogba prolongs his needed off-season surgery of course.  Didier Drogba is the best African player right now and he will hopefully be featured in an offense with Chelsea teammate Salomon Kalou.  The two Stamford Bridge men will lead the best attack in Africa and will be joined by Abdul-Kader Keita who will look for some reserve minutes for the powerhouse offense.

Grade: A

Overall

The Ivory Coast is considered the favorite this summer regarding teams from Africa and the nation hands-down does possess the best overall roster from the home continent.  They have one of the best players in the tournament in Drogba and plenty of other talented top level players in each unit.  I still am not a complete believer in their defense despite the fact that they have so many good players, simply because of their lack of an elite keeper.  The offense is right up there as long as the avoid the injury bug.

Grade: B  

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