Top players to watch in 2015 AFCON: Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast)

Wilfried Bony
Japan's Makoto Hasebe, right, and Ivory Coast's Wilfried Bony go for a header during the group C World Cup soccer match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014 (Photo: AP)
Ahram Online
Thursday 8 Jan 2015
1089 Views
Wilfried Bony might be the man entrusted with filling the void left by the international retirement of talisman Didier Drogba as Ivory Coast seek to win the African Cup of Nations title for the first time since 1992.

The Swansea City man, along with Gervinho of AS Roma, will shoulder the burden of converting any chances the Elephants create at the Equatorial Guinea finals, thanks to a series of superb displays that prompted reigning Premier League champions Manchester City to try to lure him, according to English reports.

Bony, who made his Ivory Coast debut in 2010, has been mainly playing a bit-part role with his national team, with prolific hitman Drogba stealing the limelight.

But it’s probably Bony’s turn to become the main striker and spearhead Ivory Coast’s attack in a group that also includes Cameroon, Guinea and Mali.

Although he netted only once during their qualifying run, which saw them finish runners-up in Group D behind Cameroon, his Premier League scoring run has been remarkable, having scored more goals than any other striker in the elite competition last year.

Bony bagged 20 goals to become the Premier League’s top scorer in the calendar year of 2014, outshining the likes of Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney.

“Drogba is no longer there, but the pressure remains the same on the Côte d'Ivoire. We must get results,” Bony told FIFA.com in an interview in October.

The pacy frontman has become a cult figure at Swansea since joining from Dutch side Vitesse in the summer of 2013, scoring 34 goals in 18 months.

“I have two more years of contract. I feel confident with Swansea. I’m happy here,” he was quoted as saying by English media.

“If anything happened - I don’t think about that. I am just thinking about the African Cup. Getting linked with other clubs, it’s football. If nothing happened we can deal with that.”

Bony, who started his career at Ivorian side Issia Wazi and has also played for Sparta Prague and Vitesse before joining Swansea, has scored 11 goals in 32 appearances with Ivory Coast.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)



 

Add Comment
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.