Ivory Coast

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES -

IT IS al­most im­pos­si­ble to think of Ivory Coast without con­jur­ing up an im­age of Di­dier Drogba – pro­lific, pow­er­ful and petu­lant in equal mea­sure – but the Ele­phants will need more than in­di­vid­ual bril­liance from the Chelsea for­ward to pro­pel them to glory in South Africa.

The Ivo­rians cruised through their qual­i­fy­ing group and have fin­ished sec­ond and fourth re­spec­tively in the last two Africa Cup of Na­tions tour­na­ments.

How­ever, the World Cup rep­re­sents a ma­jor step up, as the West African na­tion dis­cov­ered in Ger­many in 2006 when they were grouped with Ar­gentina and the Nether­lands, both of whom beat them 2-1.

They would be very un­lucky to find them­selves in a sim­i­lar pickle next sum­mer.

In Manch­ester City's Kolo Toure, 28, and Arse­nal's Em­manuel Eboue, 26, the Ele­phants have at least two de­fend­ers who can hold their own in what is cur­rently con­sid­ered the world's best league while in mid­field, Barcelona’s Yaya Toure, 26, is likely to be the mid­field an­chor, po­ten­tially play­ing along­side Sevilla team-mates Chris­tian Koffi Ndri Ro­maric, 26, and Di­dier Zokora, 28.

Up front, Feyeno­ord's Sekou Cisse or Chelsea's Salomon Kalou could part­ner Drogba, 31 as the Ele- phants look to con­tinue their freescor­ing form.

The Star: Pro­lific pow­er­house Di­dier Drogba (right) – Ivory Coast's all-time lead­ing goalscorer with 41 goals in 60 ap­pear­ances - at 31 may see South Africa as his last World Cup ap­pear­ance. Op­po­si­tion fans love to hate him – both for his goals and his histri­on­ics.

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