African Football - Drogba back in Ivory Coast side for Mexico match

Didier Drogba is to return to the Ivory Coast national team next week for the first time since the country's calamitous African Nations Cup finals.

World Cup - Drogba back in Ivory Coast side for Mexico match

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CAN 2013 Ivory Coast Drogba

The veteran striker has been named in a 23-man squad for afriendly against Mexico in New York next Wednesday, for thefirst time since the tournament in South Africa where theIvorians were runaway favourites but were bundled out in thequarter-final by eventual winners Nigeria.

Drogba, for so long a talismanic figure for the Elephants,was dropped for the first time during the tournament and coachSabri Lamouchi then left him out of World Cup qualifiers inMarch and June, all the while deflecting speculation of a riftwith his captain by claiming the 35-year-old needed to work onhis fitness and would return.

Drogba, still hoping to make a third successive World Cupfinals appearance in Brazil next year, looked sharp at theweekend in helping Galatasaray win a pre-season mini-tournamentat Arsenal.

Lamouchi also handed a first call-up to the Anderlechtstriker Zoro Cyriac Gohi Bi and new Malaga midfielder BobleyAnderson, the Ivorian Football Federation announced in astatement.

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