After qualifying for the World Cup 2014 by managing to overcome one of the stronger teams from Africa – Senegal, Ivory Coast will be looking to do well at the major tournament.
They were a major disappointment at the 2010 World Cup after they did not even manage to get past the group stages. Ivory Coast finished third in the group containing Brazil, Portugal, and North Korea. At 2014 World Cup, they are grouped along with Columbia, Greece, and Japan. Ivory Coast have been made of the favourites to qualify for the knockout stages.
Manager Sabri Lamouchi says that there cannot be any excuses for the national team failing to qualify for the knockout stages. They come into the tournament as one of the strongest African teams with the presence of players like Yaya Touré and Didier Drogba. Both these players were nominated for the African player of the year award with the Manchester city man ultimately winning the prize. The 41-year-old Lamouchi says that the team planning to reach the second round of the competition and take it from there.
He has called on for the fans to provide the big difference when they take on their group opponents. Ivory Coast have friendly between now and the World Cup. It will be against Belgium, while their tournament starts with a match against Japan.
“The plan is to make sure we reach the second round, which I know is possible because I trust my team,” said Lamouchi. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the national team will be making their camp at São Paulo.
“We need to go to Brazil with a lot of humility and to come back with our heads held high,” said the manager. The team is also likely to play two friendly matches in Portugal before making the trip to Brazil.