ABIDJAN (AFP) – Veteran striker Dider Drogba headed up Ivory Coast’s provisional 28-man squad for the World Cup finals in Brazil, named by manager Sabri Lamouchi on Tuesday.
The Galatasaray frontman was named alongside experienced brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure, Gervinho, Didier Zokora, Salomon Kalou and Boubacar Barry.
Defenders Emmanuel Eboue, of Galatasaray, and Montpellier’s Siaka Tiene, and Bastia midfielder Romaric N’Dri Koffi all missed the cut.
Only two of the squad, goalkeepers Sylvain Gbohou (Sewe San Pedro) and Ali Badra Sangare (ASEC Mimosas) ply their trade in Ivory Coast.
Lamouchi, who is bidding to guide the Ivory Coast into the knockout stages for the first time, will have to trim the squad to 23 by June 2.
Ivory Coast will continue their preparations for the June 12-July 13 tournament in the United States, the national federation confirmed on Tuesday.
The players will begin arriving in Dallas on Saturday with the first full training session taking place on May 25.
A friendly will be played against Bosnia, who are also World Cup-bound, on May 30 in St. Louis with a second friendly slated on June 4 against El Salvador in Dallas.
‘The Elephants’ will leave for Brazil on June 6 where they will be based at Aguas de Lindoia in the state of Sao Paulo during the tournament.
The west Africans have been drawn in Group C along with Colombia, Greece and Japan, and kick off their campaign in Recife on June 14 against the Japanese.
Goalkeepers (4): Boubacar Barry (Lokeren/BEL), Sayouba Mande (Stabaek/NOR), Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe San Pedro/CIV), Ali Badra Sangare (ASEC Mimosas/CIV)
Defenders (10): Kolo Toure (Liverpool/ENG), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart/GER), Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Toulouse/FRA), Serge Aurier (Toulouse/FRA), Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba (Caykur Rizespor/TUR), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor/TUR), Constant Djakpa (Frankfurt/GER), Brice Dja Djedje (Marseille/FRA), Benjamin Angoua Brou (Valenciennes/FRA), Bamba Souleymane (Trabzonspor/TUR)
Midfielders (6): Ismael Diomande (St Etienne/FRA), Max Gradel (St Etienne/FRA), Yaya Toure (Manchester City/ENG), Ismael Cheick Tiote (Newcastle/ENG), Geoffroy Serey Die (Basel/SUI), Didier Ya Konan (Hanover/GER)
Forwards (8): Didier Drogba (Galatasaray/TUR), Gervinho (Roma/ITA), Salomon Kalou (Lille/FRA), Wilfried Bony (Swansea/ENG), Giovanni Sio (Basel/SUI), Mathis Bolly (Duesseldorf/GER), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Lacina Traore (Everton/ENG)