Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

Following their remarkable triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations, the Ivory Coast national football team paraded through the streets of Abidjan on Monday amidst jubilant celebrations.

Just as they did in 2015, the Elephants took to the streets of the country’s economic capital to revel in their success. Led by Sebastien Haller, whose decisive goal secured a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the final, the team rode on a specially adorned truck, proudly displaying a three-star sign symbolizing their third AFCON title.

With Monday declared a special holiday, fans flocked to bridges and avenues, braving the oppressive heat to join the parade alongside the victorious team. Despite the sweltering conditions, the festive atmosphere persisted as the procession wound its way through the city for four hours under heavy police escort, culminating at the Felix Houphouët-Boigny stadium.

Upon their arrival at the stadium, clad in ‘African champions’ t-shirts, the players embarked on a lap of honor to the roaring cheers of the packed stands, adorned in the national color of orange. Overwhelmed by the reception, some players expressed their emotions, with Junior Djedjess reflecting on the team’s incredible journey from a dismal group stage to championship glory.

The historic victory marks a significant achievement for Ivory Coast, catapulting them into the ranks of Africa’s footballing elite alongside powerhouse nations such as Egypt, Cameroon, and Ghana. The captain, Max-Alain Gradel, presented the trophy to the ecstatic crowd, invoking blessings upon Ivory Coast as Prime Minister Robert Beugre Mambe looked on.

The road to triumph was fraught with challenges, as the team faced early setbacks, including a crushing 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea in the group stage, prompting the departure of veteran French coach Jean-Louis Gasset. However, under the guidance of newly appointed coach Emerse Fae, a former Ivorian international, the team staged a remarkable turnaround, culminating in their fairy-tale victory over Nigeria.

As the celebrations continue, the team is set to be received by President Alassane Ouattara on Tuesday, further solidifying their status as national heroes and inspiring pride and joy across the Ivory Coast.

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