ABIDJAN (AFP) – Ivory Coast superstar Didier Drogba headed coach Sabri Lamouchi’s 23-player Africa Cup of Nations squad unveiled here on Thursday.
The China-based striker is hoping to lead his country to the title in South Africa after missing out on penalties to Zambia in Gabon in the 2012 edition.
Manchester City’s Toure brothers Kolo and Yaya, the African Player of the Year, were among half a dozen players called up from the English Premier League.
The only non-foreign based name on Lamouchi’s list was goalkeeper Ali Badra.
Only six of the squad for the January 19-February 10 tournament did not figure at the 2012 Nations Cup.
Ivory Coast are preparing for the competition with a January 6-16 training camp in Abu Dhabi, with a friendly pencilled in against Egypt, who failed to qualify, on January 14.
“I’ve selected these 23 players to perform good work in Abu Dhabi and I hope that they will all be available to go the Nations Cup,” said the team’s French coach.
In South Africa, the Ivorians are drawn in Group D with Algeria, Tunisia and Togo.
Ivroy Coast squad
Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren/BEL), Daniel Yeboah (Dijon/FRA), Ali Badra Sangaré (Ivoire Academie)
Defenders: Souleymane Bamba (Trazbonspor/TUR), Siaka Tiene (Paris Saint Germain/RA), Kolo Toure (Manchester City/ENG), Igor Lolo (Kuban Krasnodar/RUS), Emmanuel Eboue (Galatasaray/TUR), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart/GER), Ismael Traore (Brest/FRA)
Midfielders: Yaya Toure (Manchester City (ENG), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover 96/GER), Max Gradel (Saint-Etienne/FRA), Didier Zokora (Trazbonspor/TUR), Abdul Razak (Manchester City/ENG), Romaric Ndri Koffi (Zaragosa/ESP), Cheick Ismael Tiote (Newcastle/ENG)
Forwards: Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua/CHN), Gervinho (Arsenal/ENG), Salomon Kalou (Lille/FRA), Wilfried Bony (Vitesse Arnhem/NED, Lacina Traore (Anzhi Makhachkala/RUS), Arouna Kone (Wigan/ENG).