Saturday, December 16, 2017

Ivory Coast Greatest All-Time Team

2015 African Nations' Cup
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Africa All-Time Team GhanaCameroonNigeriaSouth AfricaTunisia
AlgeriaMoroccoEgyptIvory CoastSenegal,
North Africa
The Rest of Africa(excluding Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Nigeria and North Africa).

Until 2005, their greatest accomplishment was winning the 1992 African Cup of Nations against Ghana on penalties at the Stade Leopold Senghor in Dakar, Senegal. Their second success came in the 2015 edition, again beating Ghana on penalties at the Estadio de Bata in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. The team has qualified for three consecutive World Cups; however, it has never advanced beyond the group.
African Cup of Nations Champions 1992

GK: Alain Gouaméné  
Alain Gouaméné played for ASEC Mimosas, Raja Casablanca, FC Toulouse, SCO Angers and FC Lorient. He ws the star at the 1992 African Cup of Nations, where Ivory Coast beat Ghana in a penalty shootout in the Final.  He holds the record of games (24) and participations (7) in the African Nations Cup as goalkeeper of the Les Eléphants.  He also was a participant at the 1992 King Fahd Cup.
Alain Gouaméné  
GK : Jean Keita 
Jean Keita was born in 1943.  He played for ASEC Mimosas of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s.  He was the club's greatest ever keeper.  He played for them from 1961 to 1972, during which he won six national cups (1962,1967,1968,1969, 1970, and 1972) and three titles of champion of Côte d’Ivoire (1963, 1970 and 1972).

GK: Boubacar Barry
was the best goalkeeper at the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations when the Ivorian’s won the African Cup of Nations. He represented Cote d’Ivoire in seven African Cup of Nations. - See more at:
was the best goalkeeper at the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations when the Ivorian’s won the African Cup of Nations. He represented Cote d’Ivoire in seven African Cup of Nations. - See more at:
Barry played with K.S.K. Beveren, but made his name with Lokeren.  He played for them from July 2007 until June 2017, when he announced his retirement. He won the Belgian Keeper of the Year once.  For the national team, he was capped over 80 times.  He was a bench player for most of the 2015 Africans' Nations Cup, but started in the Final against Ghana.

RB: Emmanuel Eboue 
Emmanuel Eboue played for  KSK Beveren, Arsenal, Sunderland and Galatasaray. He is best known for his stint with Arsenal between 2005 and 2011. Arsenal reached the Final of  the Champions League runner-up for the 2005–06 season. Eboué made his international debut for the Ivory Coast in 2004, eventually earning 79 caps by 2013. He was part of their squads at five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and two World Cups in 2006 and 2010. He was a fixture with the team.  
Emmanuel Eboue 

RB: Serge Aurier 
Aurier moved to France as a child and played for Lens, Toulouse and PSG, winning 11 major trophies with the latter. He totalled 169 appearances in Ligue 1 and was twice named in the competition's Team of the Year. In 2017, he joined Tottenham. He made his international debut for the Ivory Coast in 2013 and has earned over 40 caps. He represented the nation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, winning the 2015 edition.

CB: Henry Konan  
Henry Konan played club football for Stade d'Abidjan during the 1960s and helped the club win the 1966 African Cup of Champions Clubs. He was known as one of pioneers for Ivory Coast in football and widely considered among the greatest ever defender for the country.  He played for Côte d'Ivoire at the 1965 and 1968 African Cup of Nations finals, where he would score a goal in the semi-final

CB: Kolo Toure  
He is Yaya Toure's brother.  He was a member of Arsenal's undefeated team in 2003-2004.  He later joined Manchester City andLiverpool. Touré is the second-most capped player for the Ivory Coast, with 118 appearances from 2000 to 2015. He represented the team at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cup Finals. Touré also represented the Ivory Coast at seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments between 2002 and 2015, helping them finish runner-up in 2006 and 2012, while winning in 2015.

CB: Cyril Domoraud
In 1996, Cyril Domoraud joined Girondins de Bordeaux of Ligue 1. In the next season he signed for Olympique de Marseille where he played at 1999 UEFA Cup Final. In 1999, he moved to Italy, but failed to impress at both Inter Milan and AC Milan. He also played with Espanyol in Spain. He played for Ivory Coast at the 2006 WC Finals.

CB: Abdoulaye Méïté 
Born in France, Abdoulaye Méïté was capped 46 times for Ivory Coast.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2006. He played across Europe for various clubs.  His longest career was with Olympique de Marseille, where he played between 2000 and 2006.  He also played in England for Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion.  

Lb/LW: Arthur Boka
Nicknamed "Africa's Roberto Carlos", Arthur Boka  was a part of the Côte d'Ivoire squads at two FIFA World Cups and five Africa Cups of Nations between 2006 and 2013.   For his club career, he played for K.S.K. Beveren, RC Strasbourg, VfB Stuttgart, Malaga and FC Sion.  He spent 8 seasons with VfB Stuttgart between 2006 and 2014.

LB: Siaka Tiéné
Tiéné started his career with ASEC Abidjan before joining Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa. He played in France for Saint-Étienne and Stade de Reims, but better known for his career with Valenciennes FC, PSG and Montpellier.  Earned over 95 caps for the Ivory Coast, representing the team at the 2010 World Cup and at 7Africa Cup of Nations in 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015, captaining them to victory in 2015.

DM: Cheick Tioté
He made his professional debut in 2005 with Belgium's Anderlecht. In 2008, after a loan at Roda JC, he joined FC Twente, winning the Eredivisie in his second season. After that, he signed for Newcastle United in England. Tioté totalled 156 games for Newcastle over six-and-a-half seasons, scoring one goal. In February 2017, he joined Beijing Enterprises of the China League One, where he died in June in a training session, at the age of 30. Capped 55 times.  He won the African Nations' Cup in 2015.
Cheick Tioté
DM: Didier Zokora
Zokora started his European career with Genk and Saint-Étienne. He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2006 following his performances at the 2006 World Cup. He also played for Sevilla and Trabzonspor.  Zokora has played 118 matches for the Ivory Coast and is their most capped player of all time.  He went to the WC Finals in 2006 and 2010. He also went to Brazil in 2014 despite he has just retired from football.

CM: Serge Maguy
Maguy started his career at ASEI, but also played for Africa Sports, one of the most important clubs in his native country. In 1993, he joined Atlético Madrid, but he only had 8 matches before returning to his country. He played with the ASEC Mimosas and the Satellite, being one of the most important players in the local league. In 1999, he returned to Europe with Chenois and Paris FC. He had 58 caps, helping Ivory Coast to win 1992 African Nations' Cup in 1992.

CM: Yaya Toure 
Yaya Toure is probably one of the best African player of his generation.  He went to three World Cup Finals at the 2006, 2010. He also represented them in six Africa Cup of Nations, captaining them to victory in 2015. Touré had stints with Beveren, Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos, and AS Monaco before moving to Barcelona in 2007. In 2010, Touré moved to Premier League club Manchester City where he helped City earn their first league title in 44 years. He is among the greatest Manchester City players.
Yaya Toure

LW/FW: Salomon Kalou
At the time of writing, he plays for Hertha Berlin. He previously played for Feyenoord and Chelsea.  With Chelsea, he won the Premier League, the Champions League, 4 FA Cups and the League Cup. He moved to Lille in 2012, where he spent two seasons before moving to Hertha Berlin. From 2007 to 2017, Kalou amassed 83 caps and represented his country at 3 World Cups, 6 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2008 Olympics.

FW/LW/RW: Gervinho
Gervinho began his career at ASEC Abidjan and Toumodi F.C., before moving to Belgium in 2004 to play for the now-defunct Beveren. Between 2007 and 2011, he played in the French Ligue 1, initially at Le Mans and then at Lille. He was sold to Arsenal in 2011, and moved to Roma in 2013. In January 2016, Gervinho moved to Hebei China Fortune F.C. He has made 80 appearances for the Ivorian national team, scoring 22 goals. He played in 2010 and 2014 World Cup Finals.
FW: Ernest Kallet Bialy 
Nicknamed "Cruyff of Ivory Coast", he is the captain and charismatic leader of Africa Sports, one of the leading clubs in Ivory Coast. He played with the Ivory Coast team in the African Cup of Nations in 1968 and 1970, obtaining the third place of the competition in 1968, and the fourth in 1970.  He was known for his rivalry and friendship with Laurent Pokou.

ST: Joseph Bléziri 
In 1966, he helped Stade d'Abidjan to win African Cup of Champion Clubs.  From 1966, he played in France for Sporting Club Bastia, AS Aixoise and US Toulouse. He played with the Ivory Coast team in the African Cup of Nations in 1968 and 1970, obtaining the third place of the competition in 1968, and the fourth in 1970.  He was one the country's pioneer players playing in Europe.

ST: Laurent Pokou 
Laurent Pokou was considered one of the greatest from Ivory Coast.  He was twice the highest goalscorer of the Africa Cup of Nations, scoring six goals in 1968 and eight in the 1970. With 14 total goals, he is also the tournament's second highest overall goalscorer in history, behind Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o, who eclipsed Pokou's record in the 2008 ACN tournament.  At home, he played for ASEC Mimosas. In Europe, he played Stade Rennis and AS Nancy.
Laurent Pokou 
ST: Youssouf Fofana 
Youssouf Fofana was nicknamed "Dribbler" and "Black Diamond". He played for clubs like ASEC Mimosas, AS Cannes, AS Monaco FC, Girondins de Bordeaux, Karşıyaka S.K. and Al-Nassr as well as the Côte d'Ivoire national football team. With AS Monaco, he was the 1992 UEFA Cup winners cup runners up.  In 1992, he helped his country to win African Cup of Nations, which was Ivory Coast's first ever title.
Youssouf Fofana 

Didier Drogba was voted African Footballer of the Year twice: 2006 and 2009.  He is probably Ivory Coast's greatest ever player and probably among the greatest ever striker from Africa. The best part of his career was spent with Chelsea in England.  He won the Champions' League for 20011-12. He also finished the top scorer in the Premiership twice.  He also played in France, MLS and China. For his country, he led Ivory Coast to the World Cup Finals in 2006, 2010 and 2014. He was also their all-time leading scorer.

Didier Drogba

Honorable Mention
François Zahoui, Yoboué Konan, Guy Demel, Yoboué Konan, Joël Tiéhi, Jean Tokpa, Ignace Wognin, Tchiressoua Guel, Pascal Miézan, Emmanuel Moh, Eustache Manglé, Bonaventure Kalou, Wilfried Bony, Joseph Bléziri, Eric Bailly, Seydou Doumbia, Ibrahima Bakayoko, Basile Aka Kouamé.

Squad Explanation
-- Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure are automatic selection. Both won the African Player of the Year. Yaya Touré won the award four consecutive times from 2011 to 2014. Drogba won it twice.
-- Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure led a Golden Generation of players.  Gervinho, Salomon Kalou, Didier Zokora,  Cheick Tioté, Siaka Tiéné, Arthur Boka, Abdoulaye Méïté, Serge Aurier, Emmanuel Eboue, Boubacar Barry and Kolo Toure also made my all-time team.  Including Drogba and Yaya, I have 13 players from this generation.  
-- The 1992 African Nations Cup was their first major trophy.  From that team, I selected Alain Gouaméné , Serge Maguy and Youssouf Fofana. They beat Cameroon in the semi-final by a penalty shootout and then, beat Ghana in the Final by a penalty shootout.
-- Liked most African teams, the oldest players played in the 1960's.  Ivory Coast finished in the top 4 in the three straight African Cup of nations: 1965, 1968 and 1970.   My all-time team included four players from that era. Joseph Bléziri, Ernest Kallet Bialy, Henry Konan and Laurent Pokou 
-- Laurent Pokou was considered one of the greatest players from Ivory Coast before the emerge of the recent Golden Generation. Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure simply had better exposure around the world than  Pokou who spent some time playing in France.  Pokou was second highest all-time scorer in the history of Africa Cup of Nations.
-- Only five players from my all-time team never played domestic football in France.  Emmanuel Eboue was one of the five.  My Senegal All-Time team might have many players who played there, but I have not looked into it.
-- For the third keeper, I chose Boubacar Barry over Jean-Jacques Tizié. Barry played more international matches.
-- Eric Bailly is still too young for consideration.  He probably would become a member of this team since some of the players here were only journeyman playing in Europe. He has already established himself at a top European club at the time of writing (2019).
-- I do not know much about Ignace Wognin, Yoboué Konan and Jean Tokpa.
-- Didier Zokora is currently their most capped player. 
-- Salomon Kalou was based upon his career in the Premiership.  I took him over Abdoulaye Traoré and Joël Tiéhi. Both players were on the 1992 African Cup of Nations winning team.
-- I studied hard on Tchiressoua Guel.  He played over 70 times for the Elephants.  His career was sandwiched between the 1992 African Cup of Nations and the years that Ivory Coast qualified for the World Cup Finals. So he did not have the glory of the other generations. However, he was La Lique top scorer in 1997.  He deserved a spot, but only made honorable mention.
-- Joseph Bléziri was legend playing in Ivory Coast's domestic league. He scored the winning goal for Stade d'Abidjan to win the 1966 African Cup of Champions Clubs.  He made honorable mention.
-- Ibrahima Bakayoko was highly rated in the French league, but he failed to impress with Everton. He only made honorable mention.


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