June 18, 2019 / 2:03 AM / a month ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile on Ivory Coast team for 2019 African Cup of Nations

June 18 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Cup of Nations qualifiers Ivory Coast:

African Cup of Nations record:

Previous appearances in finals: (22) 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017

Best performance: Winners 1992, 2015

Drawn in Group D with Morocco, Namibia and South Africa.

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Coach: Ibrahim Kamara

The 53-year-old has worked his way through the coaching ranks at the Ivorian federation, previously taking the under-17 team to the world championships and also acting as assistant to former Elephants coach Marc Wilmots.

Kamara was handed the national team job one year ago on a contract that takes him through to June 2020.

The decision to again put a local in charge came after failure to qualify for the last World Cup and a financial crisis at the federation.

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Key player: Wilfried Zaha. Age: 26. Winger.

Made his debut for the Ivorians at the 2017 Cup of Nations finals after switching his international eligibility from England, for whom he had played two friendlies.

That made him eligible to petition FIFA for a change of allegiance and he remained committed despite England boss Gareth Southgate’s unsuccessful bid to get him to withdraw his bid.

Zaha was born in Abidjan but moved to London at the age of four, coming through the academy at Crystal Palace from the age of 12. There is much speculation he will be leaving Selhurst Park in the coming weeks.

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FIFA world ranking June 2019: 62

How they qualified: Second placed team in Group H, behind Guinea but ahead of the Central African Republic and Rwanda.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohou (TP Mazembe Englebert), Tape Ira (San Pedro), Badra Ali Sangare (Free State Stars)

Defenders: Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur), Mamadou Bagayoko (Red Star Truiden), Souleyman Bamba (Stade Rennes), Cheikh Comara (Wydad Casablanca), Wonlo Coulibaly (ASEC Abidjan), Wilfried Kanon (ADO Den Haag), Ismael Traore (Angers)

Midfielders: Victorien Angban (Metz), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Mainz), Franck Kessie (AC Milan), Ibrahim Sangare (Toulouse), Jean Michael Seri (Nice), Geoffroy Serey Die (Neuchatel Xamax)

Forwards: Roger Assale (Young Boys Berne), Wilfried Bony (Al Arabi), Maxwel Cornet (Olympique Lyonais), Max Alain Gradel (Toulouse), Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa), Nicolas Pepe (Lille), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace). (Compiled by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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