The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations presents Cote d’Ivoire with what will possibly be the final chance for their so-called Golden Generation to claim the continent’s top football prize.
Certainly this will be the last time star striker Didier Drogba will grace the event, and it could well be a swansong for the likes of the Touré brothers, Kolo and Yaya, Didier Zokora, Boubacar Barry and Siaka Tiéné.
All will be some way into their 30s by the time the 2015 event is staged in Morocco, and with a watershed World Cup to be played in Brazil, it will likely be a much-changed Ivorian side that travels to north Africa.
Drogba, now 34, had intended to retire from international football after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but was persuaded to stay on for the 2012 Nations Cup in the hope he would finish his service to his country on a high.
But the tournament ended in defeat to Zambia, a missed Drogba penalty near the end of normal time contributing to Chipolopolo’s win. A deep sense of duty and a desire to be a classed a “winner” for that is deeply ingrained in his psyche has kept the talismanic striker going.
Having lost in the 2006 final to Egypt, when Drogba also missed from the spot and his side was arguably Africa’s best it is quite incredible that the Ivorians have not got their hands on this trophy.