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Leboeuf: Egos could hurt Ivory Coast

Frank Leboeuf has warned that Ivory Coast's World Cup challenge could be undermined by "an ego problem."

Ivory Coast celebrate one of their four goals against Tanzania
Leboeuf believes egos could scupper Ivory Coast's hopes.

The African side have been drawn alongside Colombia, Greece and Japan in the group stage, and are thought likely to have little difficulty in reaching the knockout stages.

The Elephants boast players such as Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure, but Leboeuf told RMC he believed their biggest hurdle could be overcoming internal divisions.

"When you see Ivory Coast, who are among the most hotly tipped African teams to cause a surprise at the World Cup, there is an ego problem," he said.

"They have to try and turn that ego into something that makes them fight for each other so that the squad becomes strong."

The former Chelsea defender explained: "There is this identification with 'the big brother' that exists in African squads, and sometimes that can hold people back.

"I had the case at Chelsea. Someone tried to play the big brother, and Marcel Desailly said to him: 'That doesn't work with me. Leave me alone.'

"I hope Ivory Coast won't have that problem, because there are some who could play the big brother and create a barrier. You have to be careful to let everyone within a squad express themselves."


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