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The Ivoirians performed relatively well in the World Cup, but were unlucky not to go beyond the first round as they found themselves in a very tough group that included Brazil and Portugal.
However, under coach Sven-Goran Eriksson they showed a renewed unity and sense of team-work, something that had been lacking previously.
For a team of so much talent, its been a long time since they won the continental competition indeed the only time Côte d'Ivoire have won the African Cup of Nations was back in 1992 in 2006 they finished as runners up and on a further four occasions they have finished fourth.
The teams golden generation the likes of Didier Drogba (captain), Didier Zokora, Yaya Touré, Emmanuel Eboué and Kolo Touré are closing in on 30-years of age, (Drogba is 32), and will be desperate to achieve the success which was expected of a group of such highly talented players, but which has not yet been reached.
Young strikers Salomon Kalou and Gervinho could be key both have shown immense promise but they need to realise their full potential and give Drogba the desired support up front for the west Africans.
The Elephants, ranked 26th in the world should however surely have too much power for the likes of Benin, Rwanda and Burundi and will no doubt qualify comfortably for the finals in Gambia.
|2012 AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS QUALIFIERS TEAM RECORD|
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