AFCON 2023: Didier Drogba radiates pride as Ivory Coast gears up to host continental showdown


In anticipation of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2023, Didier Drogba, the legendary former captain of the Ivory Coast national football team, has expressed his immense pride in seeing his nation host the prestigious tournament.

With just a few days left before the kickoff on 13 January, the Ivorian icon shared his excitement about the 34th edition of Africa’s most significant football event.

Cote d’Ivoire has the honor of hosting the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON 2023, scheduled to take place from 13 January to 11 February, with 24 nations vying for the coveted trophy. Drogba, a key figure in African football’s rich history, spoke to CAFOnline recently, highlighting the exceptional pride he feels witnessing his nation host such a prestigious competition.

“It brings a sense of pride for me. The last time was in 1984. The fact of having worn the jersey of the national team and now seeing the tournament hosted on home soil is exceptional. We are very happy to welcome all of Africa. It is going to be a party,” expressed Cote d’Ivoire’s all-time leading goalscorer, with an impressive record of 65 goals.

While Drogba never lifted the AFCON title during his illustrious career, he emphasized the significant impact the tournament has had on African football. He reminisced about being inspired by past legends like Roger Milla, Gadji Celi, and Youssouf Fofana, whose careers were shaped and celebrated on the AFCON stage.

“The unity of a continent to see Sadio Mané, Obi Mikel, it’s Africa’s party for a month,” said Drogba, reflecting on the beauty of the competition. Despite falling short in two finals (2006 and 2012) against Egypt and Zambia, Drogba cherishes the memories and acknowledges the tournament as the pinnacle of African football.

Drogba also extended a warm invitation to visitors, assuring them of a hospitable reception from the people of Cote d’Ivoire. “We have a very beautiful country. A hospitable nation, and we know that the competition will go well. We are ready to welcome the world. It’s a privilege to receive so many guests in Cote d’Ivoire,” he concluded.

As the countdown to the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON 2023 continues, football enthusiasts around the continent eagerly await the kickoff of what promises to be a spectacular celebration of African football hosted by the proud nation of Cote d’Ivoire.

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