5 Ivory Coast players to watch at the World Cup

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Ivory Coast will stick with its tried and trusted veterans and only a few young players at the World Cup.

Didier Drogba, now 36, remains the team’s talismanic player and, with more than 60 international goals to his name, the biggest danger up front. Yaya Toure proved this past season with Manchester City that he has a devastating eye for goal, while Didier Zokora is still just as reliable in a defensive midfield role.

But there are also players like Serge Aurier, a dynamic right back who is likely to get a chance to shine in Brazil.

Here are five players to watch:

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DIDIER DROGBA

Didier Drogba hardly needs an introduction.

Drogba is the country’s leading scorer and netted 157 times in 341 appearances during a Chelsea career packed with medals.

He won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and, in one glorious final appearance, the Champions League in 2012 before leaving to join Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in a brief spell.

The fact that he scored nine goals in nine finals with Chelsea shows what a big-game player he is, but success on the international stage has proved more elusive for the veteran striker, who played for Turkish side Galatasaray last season. He has so far failed to lead the Ivory Coast to victory at the African Cup of Nations, losing twice in the final.

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YAYA TOURE

Yaya Toure is slightly less revered than Drogba among Ivory Coast fans, but only just.

Over the past few seasons, the 31-year-old Toure has come out of Drogba’s shadow to impose himself by winning three straight African Footballer of the Year awards. Drogba, by comparison, has won it twice.

Toure’s confidence has soared since he joined Manchester City from Barcelona four years ago.

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