From Adingra to Amad Diallo: Why Ivory Coast Will Dominate African Football After Latest Success

From Adingra to Amad Diallo: Why Ivory Coast Will Dominate African Football After Latest Success

Lukman Mumuni
updated at February 20, 2024 at 11:14 PM
In this article:
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
Oumar Diakité logo
Reims logoMIvory Coast logo
Simon Adingra logo
Brighton Hove Albion logoFIvory Coast logo
Amad Diallo logo
A. Diallo
Manchester United logo-Ivory Coast logo
Odilon Kossounou logo
O. Kossounou
Bayer Leverkusen logoDIvory Coast logo
Yahia Fofana logo
Y. Fofana
Angers logoGIvory Coast logo
Ousmane Diomande logo
Sporting CP logoDIvory Coast logo
Franck Kessié logo
F. Kessié
Al-Ahli SFC logoMIvory Coast logo
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
  • Ivory Coast have won the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
  • The West African nation will defend the title next year
  • Ivory Coast boast the best young talent on the continent

Ivory Coast's 2023 Africa Cup of Nations triumph might have come with a little bit of luck, having to rise from the deaths to emerge champions on home soil.

The African champions were on the brink of elimination after their 4-0 thrashing by Equatorial Guinea in the final Group A game.

However, after a painstakingly long wait, Morocco did the host nation a favour after beating Zambia to allow the Elephants to progress and eventually become winners of the competition.

Ivory Coast, Simon Adingra, Yahia Fofana, Amad Diallo, Karim Konate
Simon Adingra, Karim Konate and Yahia Fofana celebrate after AFCON success. Credit: @CAF_Online @OfficialBHAFC @ManUtd
Source: Twitter

While their latest success might have been inspired by determination, resilience and hard work, the future of Ivorian football looks even more brighter.

Brighton winger Simon Adingra stole the show in the final against Nigeria, with his brace of assists. He was named the Best Young Player at the tournament and he only turned 22 in January.

Sports Brief looks at 10 Ivorian players below the age of 23 expected to dominate African football in the coming years. A number of them were part of the AFCON-winning team.

Simon Adingra (22 years)

Adingra's rise to the top has been remarkable. The 22-year-old is already making waves in the English Premier League in his first year. Days after winning the Africa Cup of Nations, he went on to score a brace for Brighton against Sheffield United. At this rate, he will be the main man for Ivory Coast at AFCON 2025.

Oumar Diakite (20 years)

Diakite was inconsolable after the defeat to Equatorial Guinea. On that disappointing day, the Stade Reims player was by far the best Ivorian player on the pitch. The young right-back went on to score the most important goal at the tournament with the last strike of the game against Mali. A consistent performer for Reims in France.

Amad Diallo (21 years)

Diallo missed the Africa Cup of Nations due to injury, but the Manchester United winger remains one of the highly-rated youngsters in football. He was once the most expensive teenager in the world. His return to the national team will add more quality to the Ivorian national team.

Karim Konate (19 years)

Konate is already attracting interest from big clubs in Europe due to his exploits at Red Bull Salzburg. Dubbed as the next Drogba, Konate played a role as Ivory Coast emerged champions. The teen sensation is regarded as the heir to Sebastien Haller's throne.

Mohamed Bamba (21 years)

Bamba has been in terrific form this season. His outstanding displays saw him make a winter transfer move from Wolfsberger AC to FC Lorient in France. The striker has already netted five goals in four matches, including a brace against Strasbourg.

Mohammed Diamonde (22 years)

Just like Adingra, Diamonde comes from the same production line as the Brighton star. The Rangers forward started his career with the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana, before joining FC Nordsjaelland. He netted his debut goal for the Scottish giants over the weekend.

Yahia Fofona (23 years)

The Angers goalkeeper came alive after the group stage, saving Ivory Coast multiple times against Senegal before heroically producing a standout performance against Mali.

Odilon Kossounou (23 years)

The Bayer Leverkusen centre-back was one of the revelations at the tournament in Ivory Coast. Although he has been a consistent performer for the German giants, his place in the Ivorian team wasn't certain. However, Kossounou emerged as the brick in the Ivorian defence.

Wilfried Singo (23 years)

Delivered anytime he was brought on, especially in the quarter-final against Mali. The 23-year-old AS Monaco defender was influential for the Elephants' success.

Ousmane Diamonde (22 years)

Diamonde formed a formidable partnership with Evan Ndicka in the heart of defence. He came to the competition as one of the brightest talents and the Sporting Lisbon defender ensured he matched the hype.

Ivory Coast beat Nigeria to win AFCON

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Ivory Coast came from a goal down to beat Nigeria in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles took the lead before half-time through William Troost-Ekong, but Franck Kessie levelled after the break before Sébastien Haller finished off the game in style.

The host nation dominated the early exchanges with the Brighton forward coming close after meeting a cross from the left sent on by the lively Adingra.

Lukman Mumuni photo
Lukman Mumuni
Lukman Abdul Mumin is a Sports Journalist based in Accra, Ghana. He has been writing for the past five years. Lukman joined Sports Brief as an Editor for the Local Desk in 2022.