World Cup Appearances: None
AFCON Apperances: Three (1994,1996, 2000)
AFCON Titles: None
Nicknamed Azingo Nationale,
the Gabon national team is controlled by
the Fédération Gabonaise
de Football. They have never
qualified for the World
Cup finals, but rose to stardom
in the 2010 qualifiers and almost made it to the World Cup.
All their World Cup dreams vanished into thin air as they lost to Togo in their
last game, while Cameroon defeated Morocco 2-0 to progress to World
most successful spell in their country's history came between 1994 and
2000, when they qualified for three out of the four African Cup of Nations
finals, reaching the quarterfinals in 1996.
They are something of
a surprise as qualifiers for the 2010 event, but appear to have found
a new lease on life and ran Cameroon close for World Cup qualification
in their pool. They have managed just one win in their seven finals matches
to date, with a 2-0 success against a much-fancied Zaire side in 1996,
but otherwise it has been difficult for the country at the continental
showpiece. They are in group D for the competition in Angola, along with Tunisia, Zambia and Cameroon.
Alain Giresse was born on 2 August 1952
in Langoiran, Gironde and the Frenchman will be looking to bolster his
CV. He was a French professional football midfielder and played at the 1982 FIFA World Cup
(fourth place) and the 1986
FIFA World Cup (third place).
He was a member of the Euro
84 winning team, and alongside Michel Platini, Luis Fernández
and Jean Tigana formed the legendary "Carré Magique"
(Magic Square) in midfield.
His managererial experience is undoubted
as he has coached Paris
and the Georgian national
team, while impressing during his time in Africa.
Road To Qualification
Their qualification road was not
an easy one as they faced World Cup bound Cameroon and surprise package Togo. After a fine start in Group A, they had to settle for second spot with three wins and three loses to their name.
The skillful Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
who was nothing less than spectacular during his first major international
game in Morocco will be a headach to most defenders at the Cup of Nations. The French-born player
will have to confirm all the hopes vested in him at home and will probably
become an overnight hero in Gabon if everything goes according to plan
come the big event in Angola. Hull City Strike Daniel Cousin
is another player to watch.
The last time they played in this tournament
was back in 2000 and they will be looking to do well by at least
reaching the 2nd round of the event, with national pride at stake.
If they could continue with their brilliant
form that nearly took them to the World Cup in South Africa, then they are
assured to reach the knockout stages of the tournament in January. On paper Tunisia and Cameroon are favourites to progress, but Gabon can certainly
pull a surprise.
Did You Know?
* Gabon withdrew from the African Cup of nations twice in 1974 and 1972 due
to political reasons.