DROGBA’S facial expression during Ivory Coast’s tie against Portugal told a far bigger story than the need to win.
The 31-year-old striker knows this is most likely his last shot at the World Cup and with very little to remember about the 2006 World Cup where the Elephants failed to get past the group stages, the Ivory Coast captain and a host of his teammates like Didier Zokora and Kolo Toure are determined to make an impression.
Ivory Coast, who are by far the most complete of the six African teams in South Africa were not favoured when they were drawn in the group of death alongside five-time world champions Brazil, Portugal inspired by former Fifa World player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo and North Korea.
When Ronaldo hit the woodwork mid way through the first half, Drogba held his hands in the air, made the catholic cross. It all looked funny but in hindsight, this was a man who is desperate for himself and the team to walk the talk in the one-month tournament.
Who will qualify?
I’m biased like any other person supporting African teams in South Africa and I will follow my heart to predict the top two teams in this Group.
I think Portugal and Ivory Coast will sneak through to the second round. I know it is crazy not to give Brazil a chance but that is the beauty of predictions.