FIFA RANKING : 27
If an African team is set to make a Big Impact in the FIFA World Cup 2010, Cote d'Ivoire are seen by many as the most likely candidates. And with World class talent throughout the starting 11, its not surprising. They also have a point to prove after their First round exit at World Cup 2006. Tagged as the Continent's powerhouses, they strode through the qualification campaign without losing even a single match.
After the sacking of Vahid Halilodzic in early 2010, Sven-Goran Eriksson was entrusted with the duty of managing Les Elephants in the mega event. South Africa 2010 will be Eriksson's third FIFA World Cup after leading England to the quarter finals at both the 2002 and 2006 finals. He is a vastly experienced club coach having managed prominent Potuguese, Italian and English sides in the past.
Boubacar Barry, Aristide Zogbo, Daniel Yeboah
Benjamin Angoua, Arthur Boka, Kolo Toure, Steve Gohouri, Siaka Tiene, Guy Demel, Emmanuel Eboue, Sol Bamba.
Didier Zokora, Yaya Toure, Cheick Tiote, Jean-Jacques Gosso, Romaric, Abdul Kader Keita, Emmanuel Kone.
Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Seydou Doumbia, Gervinho, Aruna Dindane.
MAN TO WATCH
Under normal circumstances, you could easily put your head up and say that Didier Drogba would be the man to watch for Les Elephants, but considering the speculation surrounding his participation in the World Cup 2010 owing to a suspected broken elbow, our man to watch for this year's event would be Kolo Toure. He is a very experienced Centre back having played for Arsenal and now Manchester City. He knows how to keep things tight at the back and has a great Aerial ability. Cote d'Ivoire will definately look upon him to keep the back line steady and allow play to build up front.
Les Elephants have been drawn in a "Group of Death" alongwith Argentina, Portugal and North Korea. If they are to qualify for the knockout stages they would be required to churn out inspirational performances throughout their group matches. And given the non availability of their Talismanic Captain Didier Drogba, it would be difficult for them to get through the group stages. So unless the situation regarding Drogba is clear, it is difficult to predict the plight of Les Elephants.