Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Afcon

Didier Drogba © Backpagepix

Drogba plays down favourites tag



Didier Drogba warned his Ivory Coast teammates about their billing as African Nations Cup favourites when he said top sides do not always live up to expectation.

"I must remind you that Netherlands had a side everyone said was the best for years and they never won a trophy," said Drogba, sitting alongside Yaya Toure and coach Sabri Lamouchi during a rousing airport welcome in South Africa on Wednesday.

The Dutch, who have boasted some of the world's best players for decades, reached three World Cup finals in 1974, 1978 and 2010 without winning one and their only major international title was the 1988 European Championship.

Ivory Coast have twice been African Nations Cup runners-up over the last four tournaments, were semifinalists in 2008 and in 2010 they were knocked out in the last eight despite leading two minutes from time.

They are top seeds in Group D and play Togo in their opening match on Tuesday and captain Drogba, in probably his last appearance at the tournament, said his nation's time would come.

"We will win it one day, maybe with or without me," said the 34-year-old striker.

"But even if I don't win it, I'll still be part of the team because I have helped to build it over the last 10 years. If not me, or Yaya, then perhaps (Abdul) Razak (of Manchester City), who is the youngest member of the squad."

African Footballer of the Year Toure said the Ivorians would be looking to use the favourites tag in a positive way rather than not fulfilling expectations as in previous years.

"It's true that we are the favorite team and when you have that status you have to take advantage of the quality and experience that you have in our team," said the midfielder, a teammate of 20-year-old Razak's at City.

"We know we have to do better than last year when we lost the final to a better Zambia team. We have almost the same team back again, so it's matter of focus and determination."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...