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Drogba says Ivory Coast can go all the way

  • Story Highlights
  • Didier Drogba targets World Cup glory with African powerhouses Ivory Coast
  • Drogba scored crucial goal as Ivory Coast clinched qualification for South Africa
  • Ivory Coast exited in group stages at the World Cup finals in Germany in 2006
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(CNN) -- Didier Drogba is backing his Ivory Coast team to make history by becoming the first African country to reach the final of the World Cup next year.

Drogba is contemplating a big challenge by the Ivory Coast in South Africa.

Drogba is contemplating a big challenge by the Ivory Coast in South Africa.

The Chelsea striker scored the decisive goal as the Elephants sealed their place in South Africa with a 1-1 draw against Malawi on Saturday, but he is now looking ahead to the finals with relish.

"It is going to be a challenge," the 31-year-old told reporters.

"To make it to the final will not be easy because there are great teams like Brazil and Germany who have won the World Cup for many years.

"But my teammates and I want to make history and want to change the way the world sees African football.

Can an African team win the World Cup next year ?

"I hope that we'll be the team that is going to go to the final and win the competition."

Ivory Coast have joined Ghana as definite qualifiers from Africa, with three other places up for grabs in the final round of matches in November.

Drogba is one of several stars in the Ivorian squad with Champions League experience, including Barcelona's Yaya Toure who is anxious to erase memories of their failure to qualify from the group stages in the 2006 finals in Germany.

"At the last World Cup we played really well in Germany, but we were unlucky because we were in a very tough group with Argentina and Holland and so went out in the first round," he said.

"But I think with this kind of experience, it will be possible at South Africa 2010 to do much better. Perhaps we can make the quarterfinals and then semifinals, this is something we can achieve."

Coach Vahid Halilhodzic is also upbeat after seeing his side fight back from a goal down against Malawi to top African Group E.

"We are very proud to participate in the World Cup for the second consecutive time and this time it is going to be better," he added.

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