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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Ivory Coast team guide

A one-stop guide to all you need to know about Ivory Coast ahead of the 2006 World Cup.

Fixtures (Group C):

  • v Argentina - 10 June, 2000 BST, Hamburg
  • v Holland - 16 June, 1700 BST, Stuttgart
  • v Serbia & Montenegro - 21 June, 2000 BST, Munich

    How did they get to Germany: They were helped in no small part by a last-minute penalty miss by Cameroon's Pierre Wome against Egypt which ensured Ivory Coast finished top of a group considered the toughest in African qualification.

    Qualifying star: Wome apart, the value of the nine goals from Chelsea's Didier Drogba during qualifying proved priceless. His double against Egypt meant they could just about afford a slip-up against Cameroon in their penultimate match - which they did.

    Manager: Henri Michel, the former France captain and coach, took over from Robert Nouzaret in March 2004, after his compatriot resigned.

    Captain: Could be Drogba or Bonaventure Kalou or perhaps Cyrille Domoraud. All three led the team during qualifying, although there is the feeling Drogba will get the nod.

    World Cup pedigree: This is the first time they have reached the finals in eight attempts.

    Kolo Toure

    Present star man: Kolo Toure. The experience gained as a regular in Arsenal's backline is proving invaluable at the heart of the Ivorians' defence.

    Strengths: They have great balance in the team, with strength in attack and defence and a strong midfield axis in Yaya Toure and Didier Zokora.

    Weaknesses: Lack of concentration. This was highlighted when they failed to prevent Cameroon grabbing the winner in the penultimate game in the group stages - a result that could have cost them a place in Germany.

    Did you know? The Ivory Coast were African champions in 1992 after beating Ghana 11-10 on penalties in the final.

    World ranking: 32

    Odds: 50/1

    Local view: "They have been called Africa's rising team for months and Ivorian fans seem to agree. They have a young and talented squad, led by Drogba, who has become a colossal star. Ivorians believe their team can do at least as well as Senegal, who got to the quarter-finals in 2002." James Copnall, BBC's West African football correspondent.

    Our verdict: The best of the African teams and stand a good chance of reaching the last eight - if they can get out of their tough group.

    Ranking and odds correct at 22 May. Odds supplied by William Hill.



  • 2006 WORLD CUP TEAM GUIDES
     

    SEE ALSO
    Pick your Ivory Coast XI
    16 May 06 |  Squad selectors
    Country profile: Ivory Coast
    07 Oct 05 |  Country profiles


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