FACTBOX-Soccer-African Nations Cup finalists Togo

Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:59am GMT

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Jan 12 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Nations Cup finalists Togo ahead of this year's tournament in South Africa from Jan. 19 to Feb. 10:

Previous appearances African Nations Cup finals: 7

Best performance: Never got past the first round

FIFA world ranking Dec 2012: 71

Coach:

Didier Six has had a tempestuous tenure in charge of Togo, having to deal with player strikes and his own battle to get wages paid by his employers. It has been a heady first year in his first major coaching job but he did help Togo to secure qualification by edging out Gabon. The 58-year-old was in the French squad that won the 1984 European championship and played club soccer in England, Germany and Turkey.

Key players:

Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur). Age: 28 Pos: Forward

The gangly forward is the country's most recognisable name whose talent has carried the small west African nation to achievements way beyond their potential. Born to immigrant parents from Nigeria, Adebayor went to France aged 17 but his career was floundering at Monaco before he moved to England at the start of 2006.

Serge Gakpe (Nantes). Age: 25. Pos: Forward

Gakpe held out hopes of playing for France but finally agreed to overtures from Togo, where his parents hail from, and debuted for the west Africans in 2009. He started at Monaco and had a loan spell at Standard Liege in Belgium last season.

Alaixys Romao (Lorient). Age: 28. Pos: Midfielder

A former French youth international who is the busy engine room of the Togo side. He was a member of the squad that went to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany but threatened to pull out of the upcoming tournament in South Africa in solidarity with Adebayor over unpaid bonuses.

Prospects

Togo have been in turmoil in the build-up to the tournament, over the availability of the talismanic Adebayor. He was finally persuaded to play by the Togo president but did not participate in the pre-tournament preparations. Drawn in a tough group with Ivory Coast, Algeria and Tunisia, Togo look likely to keep up their record of never having got to knockout stages of the tournament. (Compiled by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing By Alison Wildey)

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