Ivory Coast national team manager Sabri Lamouchi has said that the future looks bright for the country after the under 17 team managed to win the African youth championship recently.
Much has been made out of the degeneration of the Didier Drogba generation, which has been hailed as the best for several decades. The former Chelsea striker was seen as the shining light within the national team squad, but even with his presence they have been unable to win their first major trophy for more than two decades. At 35 years of age, Drogba is on his way out and so are the several teammates like Kolo Toure.
As a result, there has been feared that Ivory Coast may not be able to bring an end to the trophy drought in the near future, but those fears have been laid in bed after the win for the under 17 team in the African youth championship. Ivory Coast managed to beat Nigeria on penalties, as a 5-4 score helped them win the final. As a result of this victory, the team will be the main representative for the African continent at the FIFA under 17 World Cup 2013, which will be held on UAE in a few months.
“I am very happy for the Ivorian people, especially for the young players and their coach for the excellent job done. It is a good example for the country’s football. These boys are the hope of the nation and I strongly believe they would be able to replace the Didier Drogba golden generation in the very near future, but they have to keep working hard,” said Lamouchi. Players like Drogba have been left out of the senior team in the last few matches, thus prompting suggestions that the time for the Golden generation may well be over.