Ivory Coast

Didier Drogba - Olympique de Marseille

The year 2006 was undeniably a year to remember. The Ivory Coast players accomplished a truly tremendous performance by qualifying for their first World Cup, finishing, after a last game full of suspense, top of their group ahead of Cameroon. And before the World Cup, the Elephants went to the African Cup of Nations in Egypt, where they eventually lost on penalties to the host country in the final ! And despite this cruel defeat, the Chelsea striker was more effective than ever, scoring three goals during the tournament, including the only goal of the semi-final against Nigeria.

First World Cup game, first goal

Didier Drogba - Olympique de Marseille

Several weeks later, the Ivorians arrived in Germany to be a part in their first World Cup ever, after an historical qualification which have tightened ties between the Ivorian people and its national team. ("We can feel a huge enthusiasm around us", explained "DD"). And Didier showed, once again, an amazing adaptability, scoring in his very first World Cup game but his goal wasn’t enough to prevent the Africans from losing 2-1 to Argentina.

"When I heard the anthem, I was overwhelmed by emotion. I even saw my career pass before my eyes…" said the Abidjan native. Two years later, Didier and the Ivorians were heading to Ghana for the 2008 edition of the African Cup of Nations. The former En Avant Guingamp player would score three goals, against Benin, Mali et Guinea. But the 2006 runners-up lost, once again, against the Egyptians, who would be crowned for the second consecutive time a few days later while Gerard Gili’s men managed to clinch the fourth spot. But Didier and his teammates sent a warning: the Elephants will be the ones to watch for the next international events...

Second World Cup game

Led by Vahid Halihodzic, Didier and the Ivory Coast players quickly shifted their focus to the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. But they were plunged into mourning after the game against Malawi at the Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan in March 2009, when 19 people were killed and more than 130 injured in a dramatic stampede. On the pitch, the Elephants managed, with five victories and a draw, to qualify for the South-African World Cup, the first on African soil ever. Didier scored five and often decisive goals during this campaign, which also sent them to the African Cup of Nations in Angola. But there was another drama, when the Togo bus was machine-gunned, causing two deaths in the Togolese delegation. The Sparrowhawks quit the competition, while the Elephants finished on top of the group, ahead of Ghana and Burkina Faso. Didier netted his only goal of the ACN in the second game against Ghana (3-1). The Ivorians eventually suffered a quarter-finals exit against Algeria (3-2, aet), even if Kolo Toure had equalized but was wrongly ruled offside. It's now time to prepare for the World Cup. Ivory Coast was drawn into the "group of death", with Brazil, Portugal and North Korea.

After injuring his right arm during an exhibition match against Japan, Didier wasn’t fully fit but managed to play in the World Cup with a cast, even scoring a goal against Brazil (1-3). Held to a goalless draw by Portugal in their opening game, the Elephants defeated North Korea 3-0 but were eliminated after the draw between Portugal and Brazil (0-0). In 2012 and 2013, the Ivorians competed at the African Cup of Nations but couldn’t lift the trophy for the second time in history, even if they reached another final with François Zahoui in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Top scorer of the competition with three goals – including a brace in their quarter-finals clash against Guinea –, Didier also scored his penalty during the dramatic shootout against Zambia in the final (0-0, 8 pk 7). The Elephants then failed to avoid another disappointment. Sabri Lamouchi's men reached the quarter-finals, only losing to the eventual winners Nigeria (1-2). But Didier, who scored one goal during this edition, and his teammates have not said their last word yet…

Par cissé adama

Didier,je ne l'ai connu qu’en 2005 comme footballeur et javais 10 ans en cette année. certes tu a pris ta retraite inter...