Sunday Jan 08, 2017. 14:00
Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier is full of confidence ahead of Cote d’Ivoire’s Africa Cup of Nations title defence.
The Elephants claimed the title in 2015 and are looking to defend their title in Gabon when the tournament gets under way later this month.
The 2017 edition of the African showpiece is set to start on January 14 and concluded with the final on February 5.
Cote d’Ivoire are in Group C at the Afcon alongside DR Congo, Morocco and Togo. Their first match is scheduled for January 16 against Togo.
2017 Afcon groups and fixtures
Aurier was named in coach Michel Dussuyer's squad for the Afcon and joins the team full of confidence.
Aurier was given a major boost before he headed off to represent Côte d'Ivoire at the 2017 Afcon after being named in the African Team of the Year at the African Football Confederation's annual awards ceremony in the Nigerian capital, Abuja on Thursday.
Aurier was selected in a back four that also included former Toulouse FC and AS Monaco centre-back Aymen Abdennour.
Ex-AS Saint-Étienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who finished runner-up to Leicester City's former Havre AC man Riyad Mahrez for the Player of the Year honour, was also selected.
African Team of the Year:
Denis Onyango (Uganda - Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA) - Serge Aurier (Côte d’Ivoire - Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia - Valencia/ESP), Eric Bailly (Côte d’Ivoire - Villarreal/ESP then Manchester United/ENG), Joyce Lomalisa (Democratic Republic of Congo - Vita/COD) - Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe - Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA), Rainford Kalaba (Zambia - TP Mazembe/DRC), Keagan Dolly (South Africa - Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA) - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon - Dortmund/GER), Sadio Mané (Senegal - Southampton/ENG then Liverpool/ENG), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria - Leicester/ENG)
Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia - Etoile du Sahel/TUN), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal - Napoli/ITA), Salif Coulibaly (Mali - TP Mazembe/COD), Islam Slimani (Algeria - Sporting/POR then Leicester/ENG), Mohamed Salah (Egypt - Roma/ITA), Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria - Manchester City/ENG), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria - Arsenal/ENG)