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Ivory Coast and their reasons for optimism

Aryaman Sood
ANALYST
Feature
28 Feb 2014, 22:30 IST

The old guard

The old guard

The golden generation of the Ivory Coast- Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure, are all past the age of 30. All are legends not only for their clubs, but also for their country inspiring various youngsters to follow in their footsteps. This generation of players is coming to an end. Many have predicted that Ivory Coast will suddenly become a minor team to contend with when these three stalwarts retire. However, there are some who are more than capable of carrying the baton. Here’s a look at them:-

WILFRIED BONY

Wilfried Bony celebrates after scoring against Manchester United

Wilfried Bony celebrates after scoring against Manchester United

The Swansea City striker has settled very well into the Premier League in his 1st season while also powering the Swans through to the last 32 of the Europa League before they fell as expected to Napoli. At the beginning of the season, Michu was the star of the Swansea team. However, injury has kept the Spaniard out and Bony has stepped up to the plate and delivered for the Swans. Before moving to Swansea, Bony proved himself in the Dutch Eredvisie, winning the Dutch footballer of the year award as well as the Eredvisie golden boot.

His biggest asset is his physicality and Bony uses it extremely well. He is a fantastic finisher who has some fierce strikes in his locker. He has also proven his worth at Swansea in the big games, scoring braces against Liverpool and Manchester City and a goal against United, albeit in losing causes. He also scored Swansea’s winner against Manchester United in the FA Cup. Bony made his debut for Ivory Coast in 2010 and was part of the side that finished runners-up in the 2012 Africa Cup Of Nations and also featured in the 2013 edition.

GERVINHO

The next player on the list is 26year old winger, Gervinho. Currently playing for Roma, Gervinho has also played for Arsenal as well as LOSC Lille. Gervinho is an energetic left-winger who won the Coupe De France and the Ligue 1 with Lille before transferring to Arsenal for a reported 10.8 Millon.

Gervinho

Gervinho

After two mediocre seasons with the Gunners, Gervinho left for Rome citing lack of playing time as a reason. Reunited with Rudi Garcia, Gervinho is now a transformed player who is on fire. He played a massive part in Roma’s fantastic start to the Serie A season.Gervinho usually plays on the left from where he cuts in onto his favoured right foot and shoots. He is a very direct player with bursts of pace that can take him past any man.

He has had experience playing for the national side, making his debut in 2008 and being part of the World Cup 2010 squad as well as the 2012 Africa Cup Of Nations squad in which he missed a penalty in the shoot out against Zambia as Ivory Coast lost in the finals. He certainly has a big role to play for the national team in the coming years.

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