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HomeNewsAFCON 2023: Didier Drogba Receives Heroic Welcome Ahead of Ivory Coast vs...

AFCON 2023: Didier Drogba Receives Heroic Welcome Ahead of Ivory Coast vs Guinea Bissau Game

Martin Moses

January 13, 2024 at 8:41 PM

  • Didier Drogba arrived to a rousing welcome ahead of the first game of AFCON 2023
  • The Ivorian legend played in two AFCON finals before his retirement in 2014
  • Ivory Coast play Guinea Bissau, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in Group A fixtures

Didier Drogba was given a heroic welcome upon his arrival at the Alassane Outtara stadium ahead of the first game of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Drogba is among the many dignitaries expected to be in attendance when Ivory Coast entertain Guinea Bissau in the rescheduled tournament.

AFCON 2023, Didier Drogba
Artists perform during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on January 13. Photo by Franck Fife.
Source: Getty Images

The former Chelsea striker is a legend in his home country despite failing to win the AFCON during his playing days. He lost the final twice, in 2006 to Egypt and 2012 to Zambia.

He was, however, awarded the African Footballer Player of the Year in 2006 and 2009 after playing starring roles in ensuring his side qualified for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. He scored 65 goals in over 100 appearances for his national side.

This year, Ivory Coast will also face Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in Group A. Head coach Jean Louis-Gasset will be hoping to land the country’s first silverware since their triumph in 2015.

AFCON 2023 opening ceremony

Drogba arrived just in time to watch the magnificent opening ceremony of AFCON 2023 with Ivory Coast delivering a resplendent display of African culture and musical arts.

Sports Brief reported that Nigerian star Yemi Alade was the main act alongside Ivorian group Magic System, singing the tournament’s theme song, Akwaba.

There were also displays of masquerades and a rich showcase of Ivorian culture through their colours and fireworks.

Best dressed teams at AFCON 2023

Sports Brief also reported on how various team brought their best foot forward with exquisite fashion sense as they arrived in Abidjan.

Ghana’s Black Stars dazzled in Kente outfits as they seek to end their continental drought despite being four-time champions,

Nigeria’s Super Eagles wore Kaftan outfits of white with shades of green, with reigning African Player of the Year Victor Osimhen looking to lead the West African giants to glory.