The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure in Ivory Coast's provisional World Cup squad

  • Print

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast - Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure were picked for Ivory Coast's provisional World Cup squad of 28 players on Tuesday.

Drogba and Toure are expected to form the spine for Africa's top-ranked team when it plays Japan, Colombia and Greece in Group C in Brazil.

Toure's brother Kolo, a Liverpool defender, was also on the preliminary list released by coach Sabri Lamouchi, along with strikers Wilfried Bony of Swansea and Gervinho of Roma.

Emmanuel Eboue, the former Arsenal and now Galatasaray right back, was not picked and looks set to miss the World Cup.

Drogba, one of Africa's best-ever strikers, is 36 and almost certainly heading to his last World Cup. Ivory Coast has its best chance of going far at the World Cup in Brazil after being drawn in a relatively manageable group.

"I never said it was an easy group ... but we have our chances," Lamouchi said.

Lamouchi expressed fears Tuesday at his squad announcement over the fitness of midfielders Souleman Bamba and Mathis Bolly, and Everton striker Lacina Traore, but he picked all three in his preliminary squad. The group will be cut to 23 for the World Cup.

The coach also said Drogba's recent lack of game time because of a knee problem was an issue.

"Not seeing Drogba on the field is also worrying." Lamouchi said.

Yet the Ivorians still have a talented squad drawn mainly from the Turkish, French, German and English leagues and are expected to perform better than 2010, when they exited in the group stage after being drawn to face with Brazil and Portugal.

The squad will travel to the United States on May 24 for a training camp in Dallas ahead of World Cup warm-up games against Bosnia on May 30 and El Salvador on June 4. Ivory Coast opens its World Cup campaign against Japan in Recife on June 14.

___

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe San Pedro), Sayouba Mande (Stabaek), Badra Ali Sangare (ASEC Mimosas)

Defenders: Serge Aurier (Toulouse), Benjamin Angoua (Valenciennes), Brice Dja Djedje (Marseille), Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro (Toulouse), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor), Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Souleman Bamba (Trabzonspor), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), Constant Djakpa (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ousmane Viera (Rizespor)

Midfielders: Cheik Tiote (Newcastle), Serey Die (FC Basel), Ismael Diomande (Saint-Etienne), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Max Gradel (Saint-Etienne), Mathis Bolly (Fortuna Dusseldorf)

Forwards: Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Wilfried Bony (Swansea), Gervinho (Roma), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Lacina Traore (Everton), Giovanni Sio (FC Basel), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow)

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.