May 15, 2006
Random World Cup Facts: Côte d’Ivoire
Times Qualified: 1
YouTube Goal: Bonaventure Kalou scores from distance in a friendly against Spain in early March.
Top Political Issue in the Ivory Coast: The threat of not participating in the World Cup has appeared to bring both sides in a long civil war to the negotiating table. Disarmament appears to be a real possibility with election scheduling already taking place for later in the year.
Football in the Ivory Coast: In a war torn nation like the Ivory Coast it is not surprising that the entirety of the squad plays in Europe. The national team is young, and as runner up in the African Nations, they can play well under pressure.
Players to Watch: The main striking threat is Didier Drogba (Chelsea), who admitted earlier in the season that he sometimes dived, then claimed he didn't. He has scored enough goals to be worthy of a YouTube goal compilation.
Chances: A win against Serbia is a must for the Ivory Coast, but matches against Argentina and the Netherlands might prove too difficult.
Prediction: I can see this team being this World Cup's Senegal, so I'm going to say quarterfinals for the debutants.