2010 African Cup Of Nations

 

They Dreamed a Dream! 

From the 10th to the 31st of January, Angola will be the point of attraction of the African continent by hosting the biggest Sportive event, the African Cup of Nations (CAN). 

If this event is the beginning of a series of events in 2010 which will display the beauty of the Continent (Our proud South Africa World Cup), we sadly experienced a major set-back with the horrible and nonsense attack by a rebel group on the Togo contingent while entering Angola from the Congo Frontier, leading to four innocent life’s taken way. 

Let us salute the memory of the people who lost their life and send to the families our compassion. 

HISTORY 

The African Cup of Nations is the main international competition in Africa. Created in 1957 with only three teams participating, the competition is now composed of sixteen teams vying for the trophy every two years. 

The first and the last editions were both claimed by the Pharaohs of Egypt, making them the most successful of the competition.   

During the different editions, 13 countries have won the trophy with five times; Egypt; four times; Cameroon and Ghana; twice; Congo DR and Nigeria; and then Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Morocco, Algeria, South Africa and Congo have all won it once. 

Like any historic competition, the African Cup of Nation has its heroes, genius and surprises. The Top 5 Goal scorers are: 

1. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) 16 goals (Well, that’s all about him.) 

2. Laurent Pokou (Ivory Coast) 14 goals (In just two competitions.) 

3. Rashidi Yekini (Nigeria) 13 goals, (The Nigerian Monster) 

4. Hassan El-Shazly (Egypt) 12 goals (A national Hero) 

5. Hossam Hassan (Egypt), Patrick Mboma (Cameroon) (Experience, and Goal Machine) 

All time best players includes; Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon); Laurent Pokou (Ivory Coast); Rashidi Yekini (Egypt); Hossam Hassan (Egypt); Patrick Mboma (Cameroon); Salif Keita (Mali); Abdoulaye Traore (Ivory Coast, If you know Lionel Messi or Diego Maradonna , you will have some ideas); Jay Jay Okocha (Nigeria);  and Roger Milla (Cameroon).  

If Egypt has won the largest number of contests, Cameroon are regarded by most African as the most successful nation of the competition, by winning four trophies and all outside from their homeland in just 15 participation.   

The biggest surprise of the competition on my estimate was Zambia (1994). Just a year before the competition the country lost his full squad in a disastrous plane accident, but has created sensation after beating the red-hot favourite of the tournament (Ivory Coast) with an improvised team and bravely losing to Nigeria in the final. 

TEAMS: 

The teams are presented in order of FIFA world ranking. 

1. Cameroon 

Beat me if you dare! 

Cameroon addresses the African Cup of Nations (ACN) sure of his strength. The Indomitable Lions are moving in a gentle euphoria after their qualification for the ACN and World Cup 2010. The qualifying campaign in the 3rd round had started badly with a defeat against Togo and a draw at home to Morocco. 

The German coach, Otto Pfister, had gone into an unwholesome climate and his deputies did not know the interim. Then, they appointed, Paul Le Guen, in July 2009, changed everything. The Cameroonians have chained four wins, validating their ticket to Angola and South Africa. 

Star Man: Samuel Eto’o (pictured below) 

  

2. Ivory Coast 

2010: This year or never. 

Will it be Ivory Coast? The Elephants address the African Cup of Nations in Angola with a single ambition: to win the second title in their history after 1992. The Ivorian group appears at its best with frames in the prime of life (27 years old on average). Only the star, Captain Didier Drogba, is over thirty. 

Finalist in 2006, semi finalist in 2008, each time beaten by Egypt, “Drogba generation” addresses the 2010 edition as the favourite. The Elephants have qualified handily for the CAN and the World 2010, largely dominating their Pool E in 3rd round of playoffs (5 wins, 1 draw, 19 goals, 4 received). 

The team of Vahid Halilhodzic is based on strengthened discipline on and off the field, calling for a commitment. Result: everyone defends and the class of attackers – Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Gervinho(to be watched), Bakari Kone, Didane … – do the rest. Will this it be enough to lift the trophy in Luanda, on January 31? 

Star Man: Didier Drogba (pictured below) 

  

3. Nigeria 

Status to defend. 

The Nigerian team is addressing this African Cup of Nations after a “just-in time” qualification for the 2010 World Cup. Qualification acquired in the last day of qualifying combined ACN /World Cup. The Super Eagles snatched the ticket to Kenya, after a wild victory (3-2). Meanwhile, the Tunisian team was drowning in Mozambique to send the Super Eagles in South Africa. 

The best current Super Eagles; Obafemi Martins, John Mikel Obi and Taye Taiwo. The days of Daniel Amokachi, Rashidi Yekini and Jay-Jay Okocha have gone. But Nigerians have a status to uphold. 

Star Man: John Obi Mikel (pictured below) 

  

4. Egypt 

A dynasty flickering. 

In the history of Egyptian football, there will be a before and after November 18, 2009. That evening, the team of Egypt bowed 1-0 to Algeria in the game dams to support the Global 2010. The generation double African champion title has lost all hope to take part in a final phase of the World Cup. 

In Benguela, the middle generation consists of Zidan, Hosni Abd Raboh, Emad Moteab and Ahmed Fathi should subdue a group comprising Nigeria, Benin and Mozambique. The Only Team to win an African Cup with 85% of players playing in domestic leagues for more than a decade must have something that could surprise again! 

Star Man: Zidan (pictured below) 

  

5. Algeria 

Algerians in their cloud. 

An immense joy seized Algeria on November 18, 2009. That evening, in Omdurman, Sudan, his team were overwhelmed by narrow win against Egypt in support of game playoff for the 2010 World Cup. 

The Algerians have obtained their tickets for the 2010 World Cup in a climate of great tension with the Egyptians. The Fennecs no longer attended finals since 1986. An eternity. 

The team of stainless coach Rabah Saadane will emerge from a pool comprising Mali, Malawi and Angola in particular, the host country. An opponent they will face during the final day of the 1st round. Until then, they have had the opportunity to ramp up production to meet Malawians and Malians. 

Star Man: Rafki Saifi (pictured below) 

  

6. Ghana 

The Black Stars, higher and sparkling. 

In 2009, the Ghanaian football has earned the honours. The Black Stars have reached a final the first African Championship of Nations (CHAN) (Local African Player Championship), and the Black Satellites have won the African Cup of Nations junior, then the World Cup less than U20, a first for an African nation. 

Ghanaians have, however have not won any seniors prize since 1982. An eternity for a Team of this quality. 

Milovan Rajevac sees further with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where he plans to do better than in 2006 (2nd round). No question however to neglect the CAN 2010. In Cabinda, the Ghanaians gather neighbours Ivorian and Burkinabe. One thing haunts: erase the disappointment of 2008. They finished 3rd in “their” African Cup of Nations. 

Star Man: Michael Essien (pictured below) 

  

7. Mali 

The time of for Eagles. 

During the playoffs combined ACN / World Cup 2010, Mali’s team has measured what it wants again to reach the highest level. The Eagles were held by Sudan (1-1), the weakest opponent in Pool D, before being beaten at home (2-0) by the favourite Ghana. 

The Malians said goodbye to their hopes of South Africa to focus on the Africa Cup of Nations. An ACN where the Soldiers of Stephen Keshi have to shine after missing the 2006 tournament, and have been eliminated in the 1st round in 2008. 

Star Man: Kanoute Frederic (pictured below)

 

8. Gabon 

Prepare 2012. 

The Gabonese has thought through to these finals. The Panthers seemed able to qualify for the final phase of World Cup history. But the Team of Alain Giresse has suffered from the resurrection of neighbours Cameroon in the 3rd round of the playoffs combined ACN / World Cup 2010. 

Convincing result still with a return to African Cup of Nations after ten years of absence. 

Star Man: Daniel Cousin (pictured below)  

  

9. Tunisia 

The Carthage Eagles have been somewhat influenced by their setbacks in Mozambique and its disastrous consequences. The coach Humberto Coelho has ceded his place to coach Faouzi Benzarti. The latter decided to focus on a young group (average age: under 24 years). 

Star Man: Oussama Daraggi (pictured below) 

  

10. Benin 

The squirrel will get a taste. 

The squirrel took a liking to the African Cup of Nations. The team of Benin on his third finals indicates that the Beninese football is in progress at the start of the second millennium. 

The coach Michel Dussuyer hopes his players have learned the lessons of the treble defeats in Ghana (2008). 

Star Man: Alain Sessegnon (pictured below) 

  

11. Togo 

After the horrible incident they experienced the team has withdrawn from the competition. All our respect to the players and the families. 

Star Man: Emmanuel Adebayor (pictured below) 

  

12. Mozambique 

The Black Mambas almost home. 

The team of Mozambique addresses this competition with an advantage: it evolves in Angola, a country politically and linguistically close and where his supporters will flock. The dual support of its fans and the Angolans will not be too much for Mozambique. 

Star Man: Manuel Bucuane (Tico-Ticco), pictured below 

  

13. Angola 

No right to fail. 

But what happens to Palancas Negras? The choice that had qualified for the 2006 World Cup – a first – and who distinguished himself during the ACN 2008 is a mere shadow of itself. The Angolans were brought out from the 2nd round of the playoffs combined ACN / World Cup 2010. 

Selection coached by José Manuel must, first get out of Group A in Luanda with Mali, Algeria and Malawi. But the Angolans have no right to make mistakes in front of their audience. 

They should at least reach the quarter-finals. The popularity of football in a country where people live for basketball depends on a good performance in the competition. 

Star Man: Mateus Manucho(pictured below) 

  

14. Burkina Faso 

A return to gallop. 

The Stallions make their return to African Cup of Nations after missing the last two editions. The team from Burkina Faso has qualified for the 2010 Nations Cup qualifiers convincingly. 

The Burkinabes only suffered defeats to their neighbours Ivory Coast, won both derbies (2-3 and 0-5). The rest is almost perfect with 9 wins and a draw in qualifying combined ACN / World Cup 2010. 

Star Man: Charles Kabore (pictured below) 

  

15. Malawi 

Not there for the figuration. 

The Malawi team is the surprise guest of the CAN 2010. Malawi is a minor nation in football. This is only the second appearance to Cup finals in Africa after 1984 (1st elimination round). 

Suffice to say that their journey to Luanda, in the group of Angola, Algeria and Mali, will be followed with curiosity. Most players are unknown to observers except Esau Kanyenda who plays in Russia. 

Star Man: Esau Kanyenda (pictured below) 

  

16. Zambia 

Move up a step. 

Team Zambia is addressing this African Cup of Nations 2010 hopeful. The last time was during the ACN 1996. In South Africa, the Chipolopolo boys – the nickname of the selection – had finished 3rd. 

The generation of the Ballon d’Or; Kalusha Bwalya, marked by the death of 18 players in a plane crash in 1993, gradually drew his bow. 

Star Man: Felix Katongo (pictured below) 

  

The one single player to Watch: 

Gervais Yao Kouassi “Gervinho”, Ivory Coast (pictured below), if an African player carries a Brazilian nickname, it must be for a reason. 

 

Now What We Waiting For? No more talking, Lets Party!!!!! 

For more, visit http://www.cafonline.com/competition/african-cup-of-nations-angola_2010 and look out of live games on British Eurosport.

Enjoy the tournament. 

Mohamed Bamba 

Ps: I’d like to thank my dear friend Derek, for giving me the opportunity to share with you my excitement of games ahead.

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