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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Drogba reveals why he visited and trained with Ivory Coast in Cameroon

6:09 PM GMT+8 14/01/2022
Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.
The 43-year-old clears the air on why he visited and trained with the Elephants after their opening win against Equatorial Guinea in Douala

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has revealed why he visited Ivory Coast’s training camp ahead of their second Africa Cup of Nations Group E contest against Sierra Leone on Sunday.

The 43-year-old visited the Elephants camp in Douala, Cameroon, and went further to train with the side at Annex of the Reunification Stadium.

Ivory Coast kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win against Equatorial Guinea at Douala Stadium on Wednesday.

Drogba, who managed 105 appearances for the Elephants and scored 65 goals, has said his decision to visit the team in camp is important for the "players to receive the support of the predecessors and it also shows how important the tournament represents.”

“I ask the Elephants to play their football, the game we like to see, in a quality way so as to represent the Ivory Coast well at the competition,” Drogba said as quoted by Ivory Coast’s social media pages.

“Every time they wear this shirt, every time they step onto the pitch, they must know that they are the Ambassadors of the Ivory Coast. I think they got the message right.

“We’re all behind them. It’s important to get a good start to the competition and we all have our eyes glued on February 6 [during the final]. We can hope because we have a very good team, experienced players, and young players arriving for their first Afcon.

“They come with a lot of determination and I’m proud to be next to them. More former players will come to support them because this shows solidarity and all the importance that this competition represents.

“It’s important for these young people to receive the support of predecessors and pass on the strong message to them.”

Drogba, who is the all-time top scorer and former captain of Ivory Coast, announced his retirement from international football on August 8, 2014, without laying his hands on the Afcon trophy.

The Elephants are topping their group with three points and they will next face Sierra Leone on Sunday before they wind up their group phase fixtures with a date against the defending champions Algeria on January 20.