Gervinho in line for place among Ivory Coast greats

Gervinho
Ivory Coast's players celebrate with fans after winning their semi-final soccer match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations against Democratic Republic of Congo in Bata, February 4, 2015. Goals from Yaya Toure and Gervinho helped steer Ivory Coast into the African Nations Cup final in a 3-1 win over Democratic Republic of Congo in the Estadio de Bata on Wednesday. (Photo: REUTERS)
AFP
Saturday 7 Feb 2015
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Gervinho has put behind him a red card in Ivory Coast's opening group game and is now one match away from becoming an African champion and being ranked among his country's all-time greats

Gervinho has put behind him a red card in Ivory Coast's opening group game and is now one match away from becoming an African champion and being ranked among his country's all-time greats.

The exciting Roma winger - real name Gervais Yao Kouassi - has returned from a two-match ban to score two goals in as many games and the Elephants are now in their second final in four years.

Gervinho, 27, will now want to exorcise the ghost from his miss in the penalty shootout against Zambia in the 2012 final, which handed the southern Africans the title in Libreville.

He may have struggled to settle in the English Premier League with Arsenal, but his exciting dribbling, runs and goals for his clubs and country probably explain the Brazil-style nickname.

In 2008, he shone as the Ivory Coast reached the last-eight of the Beijing Olympics, where they lost to eventual finalists Nigeria.

His goals and tantalising displays for French club Lille earned him a dream move to Arsenal for years ago.

But after two years in London, he transferred to Roma in the Italian Serie A for eight million euros ($9 million).

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