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Friday 23 May 2014

Around the World: The Ivory Coast and the Barclays Premier League

Ahead of the FIFA World Cup a look at the Ivorian influence on the BPL

We take a look at the influence Ivorians have had on the Barclays Premier League

Ahead of the FIFA 2014 World Cup, which starts on 12 June, looks at the 31 nations outside of England who are competing in Brazil and their influence on the Barclays Premier League.

Ivory Coast, who are in Group C with Colombia, Greece and Japan, have competed in two World Cups, in 2006 and 2010, but have yet to emerge from the group stage.

Five players who plied their trade in the Barclays Premier League last season are in the 28-man World Cup squad named by manager Sabri Lamouchi, including Liverpool defender Kolo Toure, and his brother Yaya, whose 20 goals from midfield helped Manchester City clinch the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League title.

Also among the provisional party are Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote, Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony and Lacina Traore, who spent this season on loan at Everton from Monaco.

The squad is also peppered with former stars of the English top flight with former Chelsea forwards Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, ex-Arsenal forward Gervinho and former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Didier Zokora among Lamouchi’s first draft.

Ibrahima Bakayoko was the first Ivorian to appear in the Barclays Premier League, when he made his debut for Everton in the Merseyside derby of 17 August 1998. Since then a further 19 of his compatriots have graced the English top flight, placing Ivory Coast 25th in the ranking of nations to have produced BPL players outside the home nations.

Six Ivorians have reached 100 Barclays Premier League appearances with Kolo Toure amassing the most, 327 matches for Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool.

There has been a total of 1,682 Barclays Premier League appearances made by players from Ivory Coast and 247 goals scored (14th in the overall rankings) with Bakayoko scoring the first, for Everton against Southampton in December 1998. Drogba boasts the most Barclays Premier League goals scored by an Ivorian with 100 strikes in eight seasons with Chelsea.

Ivorians in Barclays Premier League
Total players in BPL history 20
Total BPL appearances 1,632
Total BPL goals 247

First Ivorian to play in the Barclays Premier League
Ibrahima Bakayoko
- Everton (v Liverpool, 17 August, 1998)

Top 10 BPL appearances by Ivorians
Kolo Toure
Didier Drogba
Salomon Kalou
Yaya Toure
Emmanuel Eboue
Cheick Tiote
Didier Zokora
Abdoulaye Meite
Olivier Tebily
Guy Demel

First Dutchman to score in the Barclays Premier League
Ibrahima Bakayoko - Everton (v Southampton, 12 August, 1998)

Top 10 Ivorian goalscorers in BPL
Didier Drogba
Yaya Toure
Salomon Kalou
Wilfried Bony
Kolo Toure
Arouna Kone 11
Gervinho 9
Aruna Dindane
Emmanuel Eboue
Ibrahima Bakayoko

Ivory Coast provisional squad for FIFA World Cup

Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Sayouba Mande (Stabaek), Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe San Pedro), Ali Badra Sangare (Mimosas)
Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro, Serge Aurier (both Toulouse), Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba (Caykur Rizespor), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor), Constant Djakpa (Frankfurt), Brice Dja Djedje (Marseille), Benjamin Angoua Brou (Valenciennes), Bamba Souleymane (Trabzonspor)
Midfielders: Ismael Diomande, Max Gradel (both St Etienne), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle), Geoffroy Serey Die (Basel), Didier Ya Konan (Hanover)
Forwards: Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Gervinho (Roma), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Wilfried Bony (Swansea), Giovanni Sio (Basel), Mathis Bolly (Duesseldorf), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow), Lacina Traore (Monaco, on loan at Everton).

  • With 327 matches Kolo Toure is the leading BPL appearance-maker by an Ivorian

  • Yaya Toure's 20 goals from midfield last season helped Man City win the BPL title

  • Didier Drogba scored 100 goals in eight seasons at Chelsea, winning three BPL titles

  • Gervinho scored nine Barclays Premier League goals in two seasons at Arsenal

  • Ibrahima Bakayoko scored the first BPL goal by an Ivorian in 1998

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Key Points

  • Ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup we look at the influence of players from 31 participating nations outside England on the BPL
  • We take a look at players from Ivory Coast in the Barclays Premier League
  • Kolo Toure is the Ivorian with the most appearances, while Didier Drogba is the top scorer