Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – As the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 advances to the semi-final stage, anticipation is high, with host nation Côte d’Ivoire gearing up for a crucial encounter against DR Congo at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara, Abidjan.
Didier Yves Drogba Tébily, the revered ex-captain and Chelsea legend, remains steadfast in his belief that Côte d’Ivoire can secure their third AFCON title. Drogba, who retired from international football a decade ago after scoring 65 goals in 105 appearances for the national team, acknowledges the challenges of the tournament, emphasizing that “winning the AFCON is no easy feat.”
Despite the Elephants facing a 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea in the group stages and securing late victories against Senegal and Mali in the round of 16 and quarterfinals, Drogba’s optimism remains unwavering. He urges the current squad to stay focused and treat the tournament as a marathon, recalling the historical difficulties and scrutiny the team faced before claiming their first two AFCON titles in 1992 and 2015.
Drogba asserts, “We can win this AFCON,” urging the Elephants to maintain their focus, win every match, and keep the title within reach. The African soccer legend, whose legacy extends beyond the pitch, concludes his sentiments by encouraging young footballers to “dream big and work hard to seek a solid academic background. Study well, build an educational base, and tackle life’s challenges head-on.” As the AFCON excitement continues, Drogba’s words resonate as inspiration for both the current squad and aspiring footballers. ARW/7/2/2024