Sunday Oct 02, 2022. 11:00
The minister of sports for Ivory Coast, Claude Paulin Danho, has expressed his belief that the Elephants could win the World Cup with a coach like Carlo Ancelotti in charge.
Ancelotti helped Real Madrid win La Liga last season, becoming the first coach to win all five of Europe’s top leagues (England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France), and added a fourth UEFA Champions League title to his CV.
Ivory Coast, who will host the next Africa Cup of Nations in early 2024, failed to qualify for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, finishing second behind Cameroon in their second round group.
Speaking to La Repubblica, Danho praised the influence of the Italian coach and dreamed up a scenario where he took charge of the Elephants.
“If Carlo Ancelotti wants to come to us when he is finished with Real Madrid, he who in the past said he wanted to coach our Ivory Coast national team, we would welcome him with open arms,” said Danho, as quoted by Football Italia.
“Italian football remains a great reference point for us. With our talents and a genius coach like him, I’m sure we could win the World Cup.”
The sports minister also touched on the issue of African players leaving to ply their trade in European club football.
“The leagues in most African countries are still not of a high standard. This means that the best players, in order to make a career breakthrough, are forced to come to Europe,” said Danho.
“And it is their clubs that propose them to European clubs, because our league is not yet top level, it does not yet produce enough money to pay players well.
“Therefore, when a player is promising, the club prefers to sell him, to offer him to a European club, because this allows the club to have resources to live on and also to do development and recruitment.”
Finally, Danho also provided an interesting take on Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, arguing that their national team should embrace greater diversity.
“Italy is ageing and has not had many ethnic mixes. The strength of the teams, in England and France in particular, lies in the fact that they have integrated a lot of players of African origin,” he explained.
“They have integrated a lot of talent from other countries and this has allowed them to strengthen their national teams. This is not the case for Italy, which has remained quite closed, apart from the case of Mario Balotelli, who is of Ghanaian origin, in recent years.”