Emerse Fae: Ivory Coast Coach Discloses Patriotic Drogba's Role in AFCON Victory

Emerse Fae: Ivory Coast Coach Discloses Patriotic Drogba's Role in AFCON Victory

Lukman Mumuni
updated at February 23, 2024 at 3:23 PM
In this article:
Didier Drogba logo
D. Drogba
-FIvory Coast logo
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Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
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  • Emerse Fae has opened up on Drogba's role during AFCON 2023
  • The ex-Ivory Coast player led the team to success against Nigeria
  • Fae has been confirmed the permanent coach of Ivory Coast

Newly appointed Ivory Coast coach, Emerse Fae, has disclosed the role played by legendary forward Didier Drogba in his team's Africa Cup of Nations success.

Fae led the Elephants to the AFCON title as an interim coach and was confirmed as permanent manager following his achievement with the national team.

Marseille manager, Jean-Louis Gasset, was replaced by the former Ivory Coast player after the team's embarrassing defeat to Equatorial Guinea the group stage.

Emerse Fae, Didier Drogba, AFCON, Ivory Coast
Emerse Fae and Didier Drogba celebrate as Ivory Coast win AFCON 2023. Credit: @CAF_Online
Source: Twitter

A game that left ex-Chelsea star Drogba heartbroken, but the AFCON hosts were handed a lifeline after Morocco defeated Zambia in the final game of the group stage.

According to Fae, Drogba's support was critical to his triumph on home soil.

“Didier Drogba was as excited as the entire Ivorian people. He spoke to us about the necessity of winning the Africa Cup of Nations title. I thank him for his support and assistance in overcoming the challenging stage. His role was crucial for me and the players," he said as quoted by King Fut.

Drogba became a viral meme after celebrating wildly when Frank Kessie equalised in the final against Nigeria.

Fae and Drogba were teammates when Ivory Coast lost AFCON 2006 to Egypt, a team he expected to do well at AFCON 2023.

“Before the start of this edition, I anticipated facing Egypt in the AFCON. If you want to win the tournament, you must achieve victory against everyone. Unfortunately, we did not face Egypt due to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s victory," added Fae.

Ivory Coast will be hoping to defend their title at AFCON 2025 but would first have to qualify for the competition in Morocco next year, as reported by the BBC.

Drogba's reaction at AFCON goes viral

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Didier Drogba reacted excitedly at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium as Ivory Coast rallied back to win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil.

The former Chelsea star, who was an ambassador for the tournament, was among the football legends that graced the final in Abidjan a fortnight ago.

The 45-year-old brought the AFCON trophy to the stage before kick-off and saw his dream come true as his country won the tournament.

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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.