June 17, 2019 / 2:01 AM / 5 months ago

FACTBOX-FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile on Guinea team for 2019 African Cup of Nations

June 17 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Cup of Nations qualifiers Guinea:

African Cup of Nations record:

Previous appearances in finals: (11) 1970, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1994, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2015

Best performance: Runners-up 1976

Drawn in Group B with Burundi, Madagascar and Nigeria

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Coach: Paul Put

The 63-year-old was coach of Gambia for four years from 2007 and then in 2012 took over Burkina Faso, leading them all the way to the 2013 Cup of Nations final, where they lost 1-0 to Nigeria in Johannesburg, and then narrowly close to a place at the 2014 World Cup finals.

Put worked as national coach of Jordan and Kenya after that before taking the Guinea job in March 2018.

Sentenced to two years in jail in his native Belgium for match-fixing during his days in charge of Lierse, he avoided prison on appeal.

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Key player: Naby Keita. Age: 24. Midfielder.

A thigh injury picked up in the closing stage of the season meant Keita missed out on the Champions League final with Liverpool and Guinea are gambling on his being ready in time for their opening game against Madagascar on Saturday.

He has the potential to be a talismanic influence for the team and will be regarded with some trepidation by opponents.

Keita was 17 when he moved to France first and then played in Austria and the Bundesliga before Liverpool spent a club record of almost 50 million pounds ($62.95 million) to sign him.

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FIFA world ranking June 2019: 71

How they qualified: Top-placed team in Group H, ahead of the Ivory Coast, Central African Republic and Rwanda.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Aly Keita (Ostersund), Ibrahima Kone (Pau), Naby Yattara (Excelsior)

Defenders: Fode Camara (Gazelec Ajaccio), Mikael Dyrestam (Xanthi), Simon Falette (Eintracht Frankfurt), Julian Jeanvier (Brentford), Baissama Sankoh (Caen), Ernest Seka (Nancy), Ousmane Sidibe (Beziers), Issiaga Sylla (Toulouse)

Midfielders: Mady Camara (Olympiakos), Ibrahima Cisse (Fulham), Amadou Diawara (Napoli), Boubacar Fofana (Gaz Metan), Francois Kamano (Girondins Bordeaux), Naby Keita (Liverpool)

Forwards: Sory Kaba (Dijon), Jose Kante (Gimnastic Tarragona), Fode Koita (Kasimpasa), Idrissa Sylla (Zulte Waregem), Ibrahima Traore (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Mohamed Yattara (AJ Auxerre). ($1 = 0.7943 pounds) (Compiled by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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