The Ivory Coast U-23 team is counting on the experience of its players who participate in the major European championships with AC Milan and Manchester United, most notably Frank Kessé and defender Eric Bailly.
The participation of Ivory Coast is their second after an absence of 12 years since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in which the African team qualified for the quarter-finals, beating Australia and Serbia in the group stage and went up with Argentina before being deposited in front of Nigeria.
Ivory Coast will open the tournament against the Saudi national team on Thursday in the first matches of Group D, which includes Brazil and Germany. Soaliho Haidara, the coach of the “Elephants”, is counting on the trio, Frank Casey, Eric Bailly and Max Gradel, who are over twenty-three.
Casey has been playing in the Milan first team since 2019, and last season he qualified for the Champions League for the first time in 8 seasons by finishing the season in second place, while he was eliminated from the European League from the final price against Manchester United and the Italian Cup against Inter Milan from Quarter-finals.
Eric Bailly has been defending Manchester United’s colors since 2016 when he moved from Villarreal, Spain. Al Ittihad against Leicester and the League Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
Max Gradel is known for his previous experiences in France and England before heading to the Turkish League with Sevaspor last year, and with his last team, Gradel was eliminated from the European League from the group stage and the Turkish Cup from the quarter-finals, while he finished the League Championship in fifth place. He plays an offensive role, with Casey participating in the middle of the field while Bayley will play as a central defender.