Didier Drogba: The Photographer

The swarm of cameras around footballers and professional athletes is nothing new. Sitting on the Galatasaray bench this past weekend, Didier Drogba decided to spend some time turning the tables. Snagging a camera from one of the photographers, Didier went ahead and took a few shots. Making the most of the situation, Drogba’s exquisite and improvised work was actually published. So, thanks to Drogba, the #selfie has invaded Getty’s official photo wire.

Is time up for the Ivory Coast’s Golden Generation?

By Peter Sharland

In England, there is a general acceptance that we recently experienced a golden generation of talented footballers that never produced on the world stage. For whatever reason a team full of international superstars could never quite cut it at the World Cup and European Championships. However, when it comes to underperforming stars England has one consistent sympathiser, the Ivory Coast.

Blessed with some of Africa’s greatest players it really is no surprise that FIFA ranks the Ivory Coast as the strongest African nation in the world right now. This is despite not having won the African Cup of Nations since 1992 and not progressing past the group stage in the World Cup in either 2006 or 2010. You can point to both World Cups as being extremely unfortunate having been drawn into extremely tricky groups each time around, facing Argentina and Holland in 2006 and then Brazil and Portugal in 2010. But nevertheless this generation will go down as one that has failed to dominate the African scene in a way which was certainly possible.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: The Champions League welcomes back Didier

The last time Didier Drogba kicked a ball in the Champions League, it was a cool penalty that allowed Chelsea to win the competition for the first time in the club’s history. So when Drogba landed in Turkey after an extremely lucrative and tumultuous 8 month trip to Shanghai, excitement was in the air as he could continue his already legendary career with Galatasaray. The Turkish giants welcomed Schalke in the round of 16, and Ryu was in town to capture the Ivorian making his return on the continent’s greatest stage.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

ASEC Mimosas: Ivory Coast’s Football Factory?

By John Ray, follow on Twitter.

Les Elephants”, the footballers of the Ivory Coast, help captivate and enthrall a nation while playing against Madagascar: large outdoor television flicker and the metropolis of Abidjan rustles. Arouna Kone (PSV) crosses to Salomon Kalou (Chelsea) at the edge of the area; the supporters swell in deliverance as he belts the ball into the Malagasy net. There are chants and dances to the djembe drum in the stands and in Abidjan; life in the country is good. A month later the stadium is empty, except for a smattering of people around the halfway line. ASEC Mimosas, the Ivory Coast’s most successful team, are playing a match, but no one seems to care. Ivorian international football has always had the capacity to unite and excite the nation, but interest in domestic football has gradually shrunk to null as the push for Europe has consumed the clubs. ASEC and its academy provide a perfect example of the effects (good and bad) of what is, for the lack of a better term, player commoditization.

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Emmanuel Eboue listening in on Kim Jong-Hun’s instructions to a North Korean player during the Ivory Coast-North Korea match. Eboue might just be my favourite footballer in the world. What a class act. This is the stuff that legends are made of.

And well done to the Ivory Coast, we’ll all miss you!

Brazil may have defeated the Ivory Coast, but Didier Drogba wants to defeat AIDS

Posted by Eric Beard

Well, Brazil deserved their 3-1 win against the Ivory Coast. Luis Fabiano scored a blinder to break the deadlock, and although his second goal was clearly a handball, it had Joga Bonito written all over it. Elano scored his second goal of the tourney today well to make it three to nothing before Didier Drogba saved a bit of pride for Africa and his home country.

And while we all may have a less than expected case of Drogba fever, I’m still perfectly happy to support all the good he does to fight AIDS. I’m tweeting #EndAIDS to try to get a little good coming out of all this madness going on via Twitter; why not join me?

Pictures from the Brazil-Ivory Coast match are below.

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Player Ratings: CIV 0 - 0 POR


By Dominic Vieira, reporting from Portugal

Analysis of the player’s performance in the Group G clash between Ivory Coast and Portugal

IVORY COAST (4-3-3)

Barry: Badly beaten by Ronaldo’s shot in the 10th minute. Had little work to do. 6

Demel: Great display from the HSV defender. Completely shut down Ronaldo and Danny whenever they marched down the right flank. Also blocked out Coentrão. 7

Kolo Toure: The captain didn’t have much to do tonight, easily kept Liedson quiet and started the team’s offensive plays. 6

Zokora: Strange to see him playing as a centre back but did a great job. Made important clearance. His speed and anticipation cancelled out Ronaldo. 7

Tiene: Solid defending on the left flank whenever Portugal attacked down it. Kept Ronaldo and Paulo Ferreira quiet. However, he wasn’t as effective with set-pieces. 6

Eboue: The versatile Arsenal man didn’t do much tonight, never got involved in the match. replaced in the final stages for Romaric. 5

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A Disappointing Draw

By Dominic Vieira, writing from Portugal

The Group G clash between Drogba’s Ivory Coast and Ronaldo’s Portugal failed to live up to its hype and anticipation, in fact it was an incredibly boring goalless draw. The game was seen as one of the most entertaining matches of the group stages. Unfortunately, many fans will be extremely disappointed and frustrated with the quality of the game, especially Portugal’s performance. This is not World Cup football.

The match kicked off with a huge Ivory Coast set-back, their leader Dider Drogba was sat on the bench and was clearly missed. The intensity and emotion at kick off was powerful, both sides were confident and competing for the opening goal. Portugal created the danger first, in the 10th minute Cristiano Ronaldo from outside of the box blasted the ball against the post. Boubacar was lucky not to suffer a goal as he was caught out of position. This early chance promised us an exhilarating football match, but the climax was soon shattered. That was Portugal’s most dangerous chance throughout the match and they never truly threatened Ivory Coast’s goal again.

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Malicious Monday: Tulio Tanaka destroying the pride of Africa, Didier Drogba

Posted By Eric Beard

While I’ll let it up to you guys to decide whether or not Japan’s Marcus Tulio Tanaka intentions were malicious when he came in for a challenge with his right knee leaping into the Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba. Controversy has sprung from all across the world from Tanaka’s tackle. After all, Tanaka is Brazilian born, and he has clearly done his homeland quite the favour. Drogba, though a terrifying force to face, will mostly likely not get the chance to compete in another World Cup because he is 32-years-old. So, for me, watching Drogba grab his arm and cringe in pain was like watching a whole continent suffer. Knowing Drogba, he’ll play through the pain. That’s because he realizes that he is not simply a footballer, but he is a symbol of hope for his Ivory Coast that desperately needs hope from anywhere it is to be found. Will he be 100% fit? Probably not, but we’ve all learned from the past few years that what Drogba wants, Drogba gets.

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