Post-South Africa press conference

After their late night arrival in Abidjan, almost the entire World Cup squad assembled at the Golf hotel in the Riviera district for a debrief meeting with the press and a (final?) farewell to Eriksson. Yaya Toure had excused himself due to urgent professional obligations (signing for Manchester City?); bad boy Keita simply didn’t turn up. On the way in I said hello to a rather lonely Baky hanging around the lobby. A sad figure though he always has a great smile and has no problem joining fans for their souvenir snaps.

Ivorian federation head Jacques Anouma took centre stage. The team would have loved to have got further but they were generally very pleased with the progress Sven has made with the team. Because of the late arrival, there hadn’t been any time for discussions with Sven. Anouma said that if he was willing to stay, he’d be happy to discuss terms, but I think that the federation is unlikely to make an interesting enough offer (and the next major tournament is the Nations’ cup in two years). The team seem to be chomping at the bit to have another go at the nations’ cup after the changes that have been made.

The players had a few regrets, but as Eriksson said, it was always a tough call as to attack Portugal or protect the draw. Afterwards I had the chance to say a quick ElephantsOnline “well done” to Eriksson and a “felicitations to Drogba”. From now on it’s holiday time and the Porsche Cayennes and Infiniti FX-35s will be regularly parked outside the town’s hottest night clubs for the next few months.

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