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Drogba Still Has A Future At International Level - Lamouchi

posted 18 Mar 2013, 10:33 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 18 Mar 2013, 10:35 ]

Sabri Lamouchi says that Didier Drogba still has a future at international level

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (MARCH 18, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi said on Monday (March 18) that Didier Drogba still has a future at international level despite being left out of the squad for their World Cup qualifier against Gambia.

Galatasaray striker Drogba was a shock omission when Ivory Coast named a 28-man squad for next weekend's World Cup qualifier against Gambia in Abidjan.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Lamouchi said that the former Chelsea striker needs to regain his match fitness after a brief spell in Chinese football.

"In three months he changed three clubs, three continents and his time in Chinacost him quite a lot, a lot of energy. Didier is now working to get back to his best. It doesn't mean that Didier is finished, as I heard some people say," said Lamouchi.

"Didier is part of the history of this team, he remains the captain of the Elephants and I obviously count on him for the World Cup qualifiers.

"Today he needs to work, he needs to be at his best level so he can be the competitive player you know him to be, I know him to be. I have absolutely no doubt about the return of Didier Drogba at his highest level still and no doubt about his selection."

Five other players involved in the African Nations Cup at the start of the year were left out by coach Sabri Lamouchi -Galatasaray defender Emmanuel Eboue, Real Zaragoza midfielder Romaric, Dijon goalkeeper Daniel Yeboah, Paris St Germain full back Siaka Tiene and Kuban Krasnodar defender Igor Lolo.

Drogba was dropped by Lamouchi for one match at the Nations Cup but both denied there was any tension between the two men.

The Ivorians were the favourites to win in South Africa but were knocked at the quarter-final stage by eventual champions Nigeria.

Drogba, who was short of match fitness in South Africa after his stint in China, has since helped Galatasaray qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals.

The Ivorians lead World Cup Group C with four points from two games. Gambiaare bottom on one point.