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Oct 12, 2009

Drogba: Ivory Coast hoping for historic triumph

After his goal on Saturday booked Ivory Coast's place at the World Cup finals, Didier Drogba has warned that the country have a burning ambition to make history and become the first African team to lift the famous trophy.

Drogba scored within three minutes of his introduction as a substitute against Malawi to secure a 1-1 draw and ensure that the Ivorians joined Ghana in qualifying for the finals in South Africa next summer.

And while Pele's famous prediction that an African team would win the World Cup before 2000 has proved to be overly ambitious, Drogba is determined to demonstrate to the watching world that the continent has arrived as a global football power.

"It is going to be a challenge,'' he said. "To make it to the final will not be easy because there are great teams like Brazil and Germany who have won the World Cup for many years.

"But my team-mates and I want to make history and want to change the way the world sees African football. I hope that we'll be the team that is going to go to the final and win the competition.

"Let's do everything to show people a different Africa. I was here in South Africa for the FIFA Confederations Cup in June and everything was perfect. The stadiums are good and the people in South Africa are very friendly.''

Ivory Coast were eliminated at the group stage in the 2006 tournament and coach Vahid Halilhodzic added: "We are very proud to participate in the World Cup for the second consecutive time and this time it is going to be better."

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