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FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile of Ivory Coast squad for African Nations Cup
January 9, 2017 / 2:01 AM / a year ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile of Ivory Coast squad for African Nations Cup

Jan 9 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Nations Cup qualifiers Ivory Coast.

African Nations Cup record:

Previous appearances in finals: (21) 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015

Best performance: Winners 1992, 2015

Drawn in Group C with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco and Togo.

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Coach: Michel Dussuyer

The French-born coach is something of a Nations Cup veteran, having taken Guinea to the quarter-finals in 2004, then worked as deputy to fellow Frenchman Henri Michel when the Ivory Coast were runners-up in 2006. In 2010 he coached Benin at the tournament in Angola.

He was back with Guinea in 2012, when they did not get out of the group stage, and again two years ago, when they got to the quarter-finals.

The quietly spoken 57 year-old, who also coached at Cannes in France in between his African assignments, began his spell with Ivory Coast just five months after they won the last Nations Cup tournament.

As a player Dussuyer was on the books of Cannes, Nice and Ales.

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Key player: Wilfried Zaha. Age: 24. Winger.

Will make his debut for the Ivorians at the Nations Cup after switching his international eligibility late last year.

His two caps for England came in friendly internationals so he was able to petition FIFA for a change of allegiance, followed by a unsuccessful bid by Gareth Southgate to get him to withdraw his bid.

Zaha was born in Abidjan but moved to London aged four, coming through the academy at Crystal Palace from the age of 12.

His one season at Manchester United proved a disappointment and he went back to Palace in mid-2014, first on loan and then permanently.

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FIFA world ranking Dec 2016: 34

How they qualified: Top placed team in Group I, ahead of Sierra Leone and Sudan.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohou (TP Mazembe Englebert), Badra Ali Sangare (AS Tanda), Mande Sayouba (Stabaek).

Defenders: Serge Aurier (Paris St Germain), Mamadou Bagayoko (St Truiden), Eric Bailly (Manchester United), Simon Deli (Slavia Prague), Wilfried Kanon (ADO Den Haag), Lamine Kone (Sunderland), Adama Traore (FC Basle).

Midfielders: Victorien Angban (Grenada), Cheik Doukoure (Metz), Franck Kessie (Atalanta), Yao Serge Nguessan (Nancy), Jean Michael Seri (Nice), Geoffroy Serey Die (FC Basle).

Forwards: Wilfried Bony (Stoke City), Max Alain Gradel (Bournemouth), Salomon Kalou (Hertha Berlin), Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa), Nicolas Pepe (Angers), Giovanni Sio (Stade Rennes), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace). (Compiled by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Steve Tongue)

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