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Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Friday, 11 February 2011

Didier Drogba wants 2014 World Cup shot

Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba
Drogba provided the assist for the Ivory Coast's match-winning goal against Mali

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has pledged his future to the Ivory Coast until the 2014 World Cup.

Drogba will be 36 by the time the Brazil finals arrive, which could be his third World Cup.

"I'm not in the twilight of my career with the Ivory Coast," Drogba said after reports that this week's friendly against Mali could be his last game.

"I'll also play my third World Cup in 2014 in Brazil. If I am called upon, I will answer."

"I intend to participate in the next two African Nations Cups in 2012 and 2013," he added.

Ivory Coast beat Mali 1-0 in France on Tuesday, after Elephants captain Drogba assisted in Dider Ya Konan's match-winning goal after just three minutes.

It was the Chelsea star's first match since the Ivory Coast exited the 2010 World Cup at the group stage.

"I could not leave like that," explained a man who led Ivory Coast to the 2006 Nations Cup final.

"The day I decide to retire internationally, I will take care to say goodbye to the fans. I would never creep away on tiptoes."

The two-time African Footballer of the Year made his international debut in 2002 and is approaching a half-century of goals after winning just over 70 caps.

Ivory Coast resume their qualifying campaign for the 2012 Nations Cup next month when they host Benin.

The Elephants currently lead Group H, which also includes Burundi and Rwanda, with maximum points from two games, four goals scored and none conceded.

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see also
2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers
10 Apr 10 |  African
Drogba savours Marseille return
07 Dec 10 |  African
Ivory Coast scrape past Zanzibar
01 Dec 10 |  African
Drogba not quitting Elephants
01 Oct 10 |  African
Zahoui confirmed Elephants coach
22 Aug 10 |  African
Eriksson proud of departing team
25 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010

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