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11 Things You Need To Know About Ivory Coast's World Cup Team

Côte d'Ivoire is a favorite to make it out of group play, but can they make a deep run?

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4. And this is their head coach:

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Sabri Lamouchi will be making both his managerial and World Cup debut in Brazil after being cut from the France team, as a player, before the 1998 World Cup. He was named head coach for the Ivory Coast at the start of the qualifying rounds.


5. They are the best team in Africa.

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According to FIFA, Ivory Coast have been the best team in Africa over the last three years and they currently rank 21st in the world, despite only modest success in their last five African Nations' Cup tournaments.

6. This will be their third trip to the World Cup.

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Ivory Coast made their first World Cup appearance in 2006 and have now gone to three consecutive Cups. Drawing difficult matchups in 2006 (Argentina and Netherlands) and 2010 (Brazil and Portugal), The Elephants have yet to advance out of the first round.

7. And they are one of the most experienced teams heading to Brazil.

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Even though Ivory Coast has underachieved in the African Nations' Cup, the main core of this group is well experienced and ready to take the next step on the world stage.

8. This is their best player:

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Although Didier Drogba, 36, is likely entering his last World Cup, he is still the top player for Ivory Coast and a magnificent footballer, having captured the Golden Foot just a year ago. In addition to captaining the team since their first Cup appearance in 2006, he is also The Elephants all time leader in caps (100) and goals (64).


9. And these are a few players to keep an eye on:

Yaya Toure (left) - The 31-year-old midfielder and three-time African Footballer of the Year has been a staple for The Elephants and will look to lead by example in what might also be his final World Cup.

Serge Aurier (middle) - The 21-year old right-back lacks experience, having made his international debut last June, but he is hitting his stride right in time for the World Cup and is quickly becoming a hot name in the football world.

Gervinho (right) - The 27-year-old forward is experiencing a bit of a comeback after a dismal stint with Arsenal, and will be looking to take his play-making and goal-scoring with Roma to his national team after serving as Ivory Coast's regular substitute during the 2010 World Cup.