Zambia captain Christopher Katongo: Beating Ghana prepared us for Cote d'Ivoire

The Chipolopolo talisman says that his team-mates are prepared for the threat of facing the Elephants in the 2012 Afcon final
Zambia captain Christopher Katongo believes that reaching the final of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations by beating favourites Ghana has prepared them in the best possible way for the final against Cote d'Ivoire on Sunday in Libreville.

The striker spoke openly and confidently at a press conference, showing signs of a skipper who believes he may be lifting the Afcon trophy after 90 minutes in the 2012 showpiece's last encounter.

"The young players learned something against Ghana, not to fear big names. It's just 11 players against 11 out on the pitch, they've picked that up from the Black Stars victory.

"I talked with the coach before the Ghana game, saying nobody knows us, we have to beat the big teams to gain recognition.

"If we want to be at the summit we need to defeat the giants. The Ivory Coast are on top, they are favourites, but I think this is our moment."

Katongo revealed that they model one of their key elements of success on Egypt, as the Pharaohs were African champions for the last three consecutive tournaments.

"We've seen from the Egyptians the importance of team spirit, they didn't have any huge individual stars but collectively proved that spirit can get you far. That's one of the reasons why we've done so well here."

Zambia have never won the continental competition, while Cote d'Ivoire can boast one title ahead of their showdown.