Ivory Coast have been classified as one of the favourites to get into the knockout stages after being drawn in the group containing the likes of Japan and Greece. Colombia are the other team in the group.
Considering that the likes of Germany and Spain could have been their group opponents, this is a much kinder draw for the African team. As a result, their manager Sabri Lamouchi says that they could qualify for the knockout phases, but he has admitted that winning the tournament still remains a long way away.
Ivory Coast have one of the top stars in world football. Didier Drogba and Yaya Touré are some of the well-known players in the squad, but the dream of an African team lifting the World Cup still remains off as far as Ivory Coast are concerned according to Lamouchi. The upcoming World Cup could be the last chance for Drogba and Touré to get international success. They have failed to win the African cup of nations after numerous attempts, but an easier group has raised the possibilities of doing well in this tournament.
Ivory Coast’s first match is against Japan on June 14. This will be followed by an encounter against Colombia before completing the group matches against Greece. Prior to the World Cup, Ivory Coast have a friendly against Belgium scheduled in March.
“Cote d’Ivoire can’t win the World Cup. We have a generation of players who are coming to the end of their careers and for some of them it will be their last World Cup. There’s no denying that, but we have players who are capable not of springing a surprise but of playing at the level they’re known for around the whole world. They’ve always been the favourites in the African Cup of Nations, but they’ve never won the trophy,” said Lamouchi.