Ivory Coast reached the World Cup finals for the third time in their history and this delighted their manager Sabri Lamouchi. Ivory Coast have been criticised for not performing well in major tournaments, as they have failed to win the African cup of nations on a number of occasions despite being the outright favourites.
They have also been called as chokers since they have come extremely close to winning major tournaments only to fail at the last hurdle. Lamouchi has been given the task of rejuvenating the Ivory Coast team. He took the drastic step of dropping Didier Drogba, who is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world.
He cited that Drogba had become old and that the team needed fresh legs in order to start performing at the top level. Lamouchi, however, did not close the door on Drogba returning to national team duty after the striker moved to Turkish football last January. Ivory Coast have been brilliant so far in the qualifying campaign, as they went unbeaten.
“I think we deserved this over the two games. Today we suffered, we actually really, deeply suffered. They put us in danger, because the game was particularly long, but the most important thing is that we qualified. We are actually qualified without losing a single game and that’s what matters, but it was really hard,” said the Ivory Coast manager after qualification was sealed following a 4-2 win over Senegal in two legs.
Lamouchi has recalled this fact, but the real test for the team will come in the finals itself. African teams have not won the World Cup in the recent times, but Ivory Coast and Ghana appeared to be well equipped to change the history this time around. This victory was important for the manager since Ivory Coast have not been great in recent months.