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Ivory Coast Names High Profile Ex-Belgium Boss as New Head Coach

Ivory Coast has named ex-Belgium international Marc Wilmots as a replacement for former head coach Michel Dussuyer, who resigned after a poor Africa Cup of Nations performance that saw the team’s elimination in the group stages.

The Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) in an official press release broke the news describing the new manager as a “big catch”.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”The appointment of Marc Wilmots is a big catch for the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) which, despite the modesty of its resources, has managed to hire this world-renowned coach,”[/perfectpullquote]

the country’s FA confirmed.

He has signed a two-year contract with an option to renew but will not immediately take charge in the Elephant’s upcoming friendlies against Russia on Friday and Senegal three days later in Franceas.

Wilmots will officially take over the mantle in the coming weeks with the task of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia and the next African Cup of Nations.

The 48-year-old was outstanding with Belgium after helping the team top the World FIFA ranking at one point and reaching the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals in Brazil but, the European Cup defeat in July 2016, led many critics to call for his head after the 3-1 loss to Wales that saw the highly rated side crash out of the European Championships in the quarter-finals..

The former Belgium international played nine times scoring five goals to make him the country’s all-time World Cup leading goal scorer. He started his coaching career in charge of both Sint-Truiden and the Belgium U-19 side in 1987 before taking over the senior team in 2003.

The former midfielder who becomes the tenth Elephant’s coach in ten years won’t have a big mountain to climb because Ivory Coast is currently top of its World Cup qualifying group with four points from two games ahead of Gabon, Morocco, and Mali.

The West African side will later face Guinea, Central African Republic, and Rwanda when the Nations Cup qualifiers kick off for a place at the finals in Cameroon.



Featured photo: Getty Images

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