Saturday, 5 June 2010


Didier Drogba's hopes of taking part in the World Cup remain very much in the balance following confirmation that he broke his arm in yesterday's friendly against Japan.

It is understood that permission from the medical staff at Drogba's club Chelsea may be required for the player to undergo immediate surgery in a last ditch bid to be fit to play some part in the Ivory Coast's campaign.

The importance of Drogba to the Ivory Coast's hopes cannot be understated; 45 goals in 70 internationals is a superb return, and his presence in the dressing room and on the pitch is one of a natural leader from whom team-mates derive inspiration.

Drogba recently stated his desire to take the golden boot at South Africa 2010. You could sense in his words a sense of responsibility not only to his own country, but to the African continent as a whole, who desperately hope to have at least one or two representatives in the latter stages of the competition.

Many thought that - in spite of being drawn in the toughest group (G) with Brazil, Portugal and North Korea - the Ivory Coast represented Africa's best chance of being represented in the semi-final. That is a view which may be revised if Drogba doesn't make it. The sad reality may be that the injury impairs his performance level even if he is passed fit.

Meanwhile Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel - one of Drogba's Chelsea team-mates - has definitely been ruled out of the World Cup following an ankly injury.

Drogba's misfortune was one of two high profile injuries yesterday; England captain Rio Ferdinand was ruled out of the tournament following an accident in training resulting in knee ligament damage.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Michael Dawson - who was planning his summer holiday - got the dramatic call last night informing him that his country would indeed need him after all, and had about an hour to pack his suitcase and get to the airport. He arrived in South Africa this morning and has joined up with the squad at their base in Rustenburg.

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