The new manager of African football giants Ivory Coast Marc Wilmots has named his team for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
The coach got the job in March but just named his first squad for game. The team is poised to meet with the Netherlands on June 4 in a friendly game before facing Guinea in the qualifier on June 9.
Salomon Kalou is a veteran included in the list as he pushes off the idea of hanging up his boots in both international and club football. After they crashed out of the Nations Cup in January, he considered his international future and probably decided to hopefully play in the World Cup next year before he retires.
The former Chelsea star earlier said the tournament in Gabon would be his last in the international stage but considering the way they performed at the tournament, he decided to set Russia 2018 as his exit target.
Wilmots added long-time absentee SeydouDoumbia who plays for Swiss outfit FC Basel, Crystal Palace’s WilfredZaha, JeremieBoga who plays for Grenada, Maxwell Cornet of Lyon, and Giovanni Sio of Rennes France are also invited in forward positions.
In midfield CheickDoukoure, Franck Kessie, Jean Michael Seri, Jean-Philippe, and GeofforySerey Die were invited. At the back Europa League winner Eric Bailly of Man United, Sunderland’s LamineKone, Serge Aurier of PSG and Wilfred Kanon who plays in Netherlands were called to action.
The rest invited are Ghislain Konan, AdamaTraore, MamdouBagayoko, Simon Deli and JorisGnagnon.
This would be the first competitive match for the former Belgium coach. The golden generation of Ivory Coast stars won just a Nations Cup after impressing in several tournaments. Wilmots would have to build a new generation after the former all retired out.