drogba
Didier Drogba/Photo: AFP

By Concise News Correspondents/Agency Report

Defending champions Cote d’Ivoirie may be surprisingly out of this year’s Africa Cup f Nations (Afcon), but legendary former striker, Didier Drogba, foresees a bright future.

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“This team is young and talented. They need to be led, supported. They are the most disappointed! They will come back strong,” tweeted the former Chelsea man, now 38.

The ongoing tournament in Gabon is one the African champions would want to quickly forget, after going through the group phase without bagging a win.

But featuring a side largely made up of inexperienced players as more than half the squad that won the title in 2015 had left the team, the two-time African kings were poised to struggle.

Immensely talented younger players like Nicolas Pepe, Jean Seri, Wilfried Zaha and Franck Kessie were unable to seize their chance, but their presence suggests the future is still bright.

The Elephants have been at the last three World Cups and securing a place in Russia in 2018 is the next objective.

They are top of their qualifying group with Gabon, Morocco and Mali and will resume their campaign with a return to Gabon in August.