Because this is a Women’s World Cup year, I have decided to countdown to the tournament by providing a short soccer/fitness related preview of each of the 24 participating nations. In this instalment, I will look at Cote D’Ivoire, who is making their first ever appearance at the Women’s World Cup. Cote D’Ivoire have been drawn in Group B, along with Germany, Norway, and Thailand. They will play their first match against Germany on Sunday, June 7th, 2015.
In a recent article posted on http://www.fifa.com, the Ivorian Women’s team was described as a “squad without any star players,” but this was noted as the main strength of the team, as opposed to a weakness. In Africa, at times national teams made up of players with a lot of technical skill are not successful because they do not play well enough as a team. In Cote D’Ivoire, almost all of the players play locally, and the lack of any star players has meant that the team has had to rely on teamwork, discipline and a sustained group effort to win. They qualified as the 3rd place team out of Africa, at the expense of some of the more talented national teams including Ghana and Senegal.
When putting the concept of team effort over individual skill into perspective, consider the German Men’s National Team that won the FIFA World Cup in Brazil last year. As opposed to some of their knock out-round opponents (France with Pogba, Benzema and Ribery; Brazil with Neymar and Robinho; and Argentina with Messi, Di Maria) the Germans had success with a team devoid of the same star talent and natural ability. They played more organized, effective soccer and in the end were the best team in the tournament. The Cote D’Ivoire women’s team will have a hard job ahead of them as they open their tournament against favourites Germany. Can they use a superior team effort and get out of a difficult group? We will have to wait and see what happens in 1 month’s time.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic. Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.